Country Report Armenia November 1998 Main report

Political scene: Relations with NATO are strengthened

The NATO secretary-general, Javier Solana, paid his second visit to Armenia on October 1st and discussed issues related to the enhancement of relations between Armenia and NATO within the Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme, which Armenia joined in October 1994, and Armenia's participation in the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. Russia, which is suspicious of NATO's eastward expansion, had objected to Mr Solana's previous visit in February 1997, although Russia itself co-operates with NATO. This time round Russia had more serious domestic preoccupations, and objections came instead from the leader of the Communist Party of Armenia (CPA), Sergey Badalian, who voiced concern over the acceleration of NATO activity in the Transcaucasus. However, according to Armenia's foreign minister, Vartan Oskanian, the strategic military partnership between Yerevan and Moscow does not necessarily exclude NATO-Armenian co-operation but is instead based on a balanced foreign policy.

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