Armenia is considering seeking EU membership, foreign minister says

By Thomson Reuters Mar 9, 2024 | 3:22 AM

(Reuters) – Armenia is considering applying for European Union membership, foreign minister Ararat Mirzoyan said on Friday, as it seeks to forge closer ties with the West in the face of tensions with traditional ally Russia.

“Many new opportunities are largely being discussed in Armenia nowadays and that will not be a secret if I say that includes membership in the European Union,” Mirzoyan said in an interview with Turkey’s TRT World television station.

He was speaking on the sidelines of a diplomatic forum in the Turkish city of Antalya on the Mediterranean coast.

Since coming to power in a 2018 revolution, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has deepened Armenia’s ties with Europe and the United States, repeatedly drawing the ire of traditional ally Russia.

Yerevan has repeatedly said that its alliance with Moscow does not stretch to the war in Ukraine, while Pashinyan has accused Russia of seeking to undermine his government.

Armenia also accuses Russia of failing to defend it against long-standing rival Azerbaijan, which has drawn closer to Moscow in recent years.

(Reporting by Olzhas Auyezov; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)