Prospects of Cooperation between NATO and New Partners
The developments relating to Armenia-Russia relations have produced an impression on Brussels and Washington. They have realized that it is impossible to continue with a passive position.
The European Union already has a decision on making efforts to confront Russia’s pressure against the participants of Eastern Partnership. NATO has also discussed this issue and decided to announce about the position of the alliance on cooperation with new partners in Eastern Europe.
In addition, Armenia needs special solutions because Armenia is the only new NATO partner which is a CSTO member.
Hence, both the EU and NATO realize that Armenia needs to work out a special plan of cooperation. In reality, NATO will not have such a plan but special steps must be undertaken for cooperation with Armenia.
First of all, this means that a more favorable setting will be created for cooperation with Armenia, a green light will be lit and milder requirements will be set. However, these are only assumptions based on occasional opinions.
NATO does not export weapons, according to its Charter, does not coordinate the supply of arms to the members of the alliance. In reality, NATO members have to agree export of arms, especially when it is about hotbeds of conflicts.
The relations between NATO and countries are an important guarantee for receiving arms from NATO member states. This is a usual political practice, and all the stakeholders have to consider this.
Armenia has an opportunity to get weapons from NATO member states, and there is such a thing. It is important to have reliable and friendly relations with not only NATO but also its member states.
The United States will hardly be able to supply arms to Armenia but the European countries can do that, first of all those with whom Armenia has traditionally been on good terms. For instance, France is less critical about the Russian policy in the South Caucasus, takes the Russian influence on Armenia for granted and can supply arms.
The problem is the money. Armenia does not have any money, therefore it must negotiate for a symbolic price for supply of arms. This may happen, considering some ageing arms.
These relations suppose more comprehensive relations between NATO and Armenia. In case Armenia wants to enter into a stage of new, more binding relations, it must demonstrate convincingly that at some point the relations with NATO will be closer than with Russia and CSTO.