Regnum reported that the Lithuanian minister of defense Rasa Jukneviciene told BNS in a telephone interview, “Armenia’s interest in this visit was big. They made every effort to make sure it takes places, though Lithuania is in a pre-election year and I must spend a lot of time in the Seim. Therefore, the visit is held on weekend, which shows the great wish and focus of Armenia to cooperate with NATO and the EU.”
It is not a secret that the Baltic states, namely Lithuania and Latvia, are the main pipes through which Armenia works with NATO and the EU. Not always is it possible to get in direct touch with NATO and EU leaders or leaders of leading states of these organizations. Meanwhile, contacts at the level of resident diplomatic missions cannot compare to this level of contacts.
In this situation additional pipes come to rescue, such as contacts with the Baltic States which do not provide the level of leaders of leading EU member states but ensure a considerably higher level of communication than that of embassies.
Hence, the interview of the Lithuanian minister is evidence that their visit and meeting with the Armenian government was requested by Yerevan. It is interesting to know what official Yerevan needed to pass to NATO, considering that the meeting was with the minister of defense.
Interestingly, the visit coincided with the commandership and staff stage of the three-day CSTO military exercise to be held in September. The Armenian minister of defense had announced earlier that this stage would be held on June 25-27 on the topic of military governance in the period of war and undertaking key measures to resist aggression.
Seiran Ohanyan had asked the heads of all the public administration bodies to prepare for this event. According to him, it will bring Armenia to a high level military alert.
“In this context we will prepare appropriate orders on martial law, mobilization, containment of aggression. The president of Armenia will request the CSTO leadership to support us, to prepare and participate appropriately in this stage on 25, 26 and 27,” Seiran Ohanyan said.
It is not ruled out that in this regard Armenia needed some communication with NATO at a higher level than the level of embassies.
On the other hand, a number of other events coincided with this visit, namely the escalation in Syria.
Hence, official Yerevan may have several reasons for communication with NATO.
On the whole, the problem has a wider geopolitical context and fits the logic of deepening relations with the West and strengthening Armenia. In the long run, the global and regional developments are evidence that there is no alternative to this deepening. Armenia must promote internal reforms to make it more effective and ensure the required level of sovereignty not to allow a primitive process of passing from under the Russian to the Western umbrella. These attempts are not only primitive but also dangerous.
The starting point of choice by official Yerevan must be the national interest of Armenia which requires modernization, competitiveness, update of military and civil technology and values, redesign, at least diversification.
From this point of view, NATO-Armenia and generally West-Armenia interaction can be valuable for the Armenian national interest.