At a press conference in Yerevan, French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna expressed her concerns over the displacement in Artsakh, Also known as Nagorno-Karabakh, and highlighted the combined actions of Russia and Azerbaijan. She labeled these actions as crimes and discussed the rights of Artsakh’s indigenous majority. During a subsequent meeting with Armenia’s Foreign Minister, defense and security were primary topics. Colonna confirmed that France has approved a future military equipment supply agreement with Armenia to bolster its defense.
She reiterated France’s commitment to Armenia by stating that her visit symbolized the country’s vigilance towards any threats to Armenia’s territorial integrity.
In a recent meeting in Yerevan, the French and Iranian ambassadors discussed the current situation in Armenia and regional events. Both countries are vocal about maintaining Armenia’s constitutional territory and are against any geopolitical border shifts. The meeting also touched upon security coordination and logistics.
Russia, meanwhile, has not followed through on arms supplies to Armenia, nor has it refunded the paid amounts. Instead, Russia reportedly transferred a significant amount of weaponry, previously seized from Artsakh’s armed forces, to the Ukrainian front. There are also indications of Russia relocating a large portion of the armament from the 102nd Gyumri base in Armenia, mirroring actions at its bases in Tajikistan.
Armenia has a weapons agreement with India, but logistical issues have led to delays in supply.
Colonna’s announcement holds significant political and military weight. Being a key player in global high-tech weapons manufacturing and a permanent member of the UN Security Council, France’s involvement might reshape the ongoing conflict with Azerbaijan and Turkey. This intervention could also modernize the Armenian military.
However, there are concerns that the Armenian government might hinder this initiative, given past disagreements with France and President Macron. Despite addressing “rights and security” issues in Artsakh, the Armenian government seems to have shifted its focus to the international community, emphasizing the “territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Armenia” while seemingly neglecting its duty to safeguard its citizens and land.