Accepted paper:

Armenian foreign policy between Eurasian and European integration models

Author:

Hayk Paronyan (Universidad Regional Autónoma de los Andes - UNIANDES)

Paper abstract:

The return of geopolitics on the European continent made two aspects apparent. One the one hand, The EU and Russia have entered into a kind of competitive and conflict relationship about exerting influence on countries in a number of post-soviet states. On the other hand, the EU's main foreign policy strategy towards its eastern neighbors has failed to achieve its objectives of creating peace and stability. By focusing on the case of Armenia, this research aims to analyze how the South Caucasus countries are affected by the growing tensions between the EU and Russia, how they deal with the influence of external actors and how manage to combine European and Eurasian integration models. This paper focuses on the foreign policy challenges regarding Armenia's participation in integration models proposed by EU and Russia that have changed the place and role of the country in the contemporary political processes. The study is based on critical discourse analysis of the relevant statements and speeches of Armenian foreign policy figures aimed to justify the decision of Armenian government not to initial the negotiated Association Agreement with the EU, including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (AA/DCFTA), and the participation of the country in Russian-led Eurasian Union by economic and security circumstances. I argued that growing tensions between the EU and Russia do not allow the South Caucasus countries to achieve the Russian-European balance. Developing a coherent strategy for the region that focuses on an integrated approach recognizing the shared interests of Russia, the EU, and the South Caucasus countries is an urgent challenge that remains unmet today.

panel POL-04
Foreign Policy Challenges in Central Eurasia