YEREVAN (Azatutyun.am)—The European Union has refused to provide Armenia with military aid from a special fund designed to boost EU partners’ defense capacity, parliament speaker Alen Simonyan said on Tuesday.
Simonyan complained about the rebuff as he met with Poland’s President Andrzej Duda during a visit to Warsaw.
He told Duda that the Armenian government had requested “technical assistance” from the European Peace Facility (EPF) which the EU created in 2021 to help developing countries buy military equipment.
“Through that mechanism, the EU allocates aid to Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia,” he said, according to the Armenian parliament’s press office. “Unfortunately, Armenia’s request was rejected on the grounds of the EU’s mediation efforts in the improvement of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan as well as the issue of ‘conflict sensitivity.’”
“I would like to repeat that we are talking about technical assistance aimed at increasing [Armenia’s] defense capacity,” added Simonyan.
The speaker, who is a key member of Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s political team, did not specify what kind of security aid was sought by Yerevan.
Ukraine is the main beneficiary of the EPF, having received 4.6 billion euros ($5 billion) in military aid from the EU fund since being invaded by Russia in February 2022. As recently as on June 26, EU countries agreed to increase the maximum size of the fund by 3.5 billion euros to 12 billion euros. The bulk of the extra funding is expected to be channeled into the Ukrainian military.
A member of the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization, Armenia is not known to have ever received major weapons from the EU or its individual member states. Russia has long been its principal supplier of military hardware and ammunition.
As well as criticizing the EU’s refusal to provide such aid, Simonyan praised the 27-nation bloc for deploying earlier this year 100 or so monitors along Armenia’s volatile border with Azerbaijan.
Russia has been very critical of the deployment, saying that it is part of the West’s efforts to drive Moscow out of the South Caucasus.