After the 44-day war in 2020, Armenia and the region in general started to face new geopolitical realities. These new realities are first and foremost reflected in Armenia’s foreign policy contacts.
In this article, we have tried to provide an overview of the visits of international delegations, humanitarian delegations, officials and leaders of different countries to Armenia following the trilateral statement (Armenia-Russia-Azerbaijan) of November 9, 2020, which ended the 44-day war. The official website of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia was used as a source of information, taking into account that all the significant visits to Armenia during the mentioned period entailed a meeting with the Prime Minister.
This article may help to gain insight into the extent of international and regional actors’ interest in Armenia and the intensity and nature of contacts. It should be noted that the COVID-19 pandemic continued in the world during the observed period, which, of course, had a certain impact on the normal agenda of visits and reciprocal visits.
The only head of state
The only foreign head of state to visit Armenia since November 9, 2020 is Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili. It is noteworthy that the latter visited Armenia twice during this period, on May 12, 2021 and October 9, 2021. Apart from Gharibashvili, no other head of any other state visited Armenia during the mentioned period.
The first and most frequent guests
The first foreign delegation to visit Armenia after the 44-day war was the Russian government delegation, which arrived in Armenia on November 21, 2020. The delegation consisted of Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who had separate meetings with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. Besides, on December 23, Russian Minister of Emergency Situations Yevgeny Zinichev also visited Armenia.
The visits of Russian delegations and officials to Armenia especially intensified in 2021, and, perhaps, the most frequent guest was the Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexei Overchuk. The latter visited Armenia on January 3, November 5, November 24, and December 22, 2021.
On May 6, 2021, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visited Armenia with a delegation.
On April 8, Prosecutor General Igor Krasnov,
On July 17 and October 28, Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Sergei Istrakov,
On September 14, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller,
On October 2, Head of GeoProMining Roman Trotsenko,
On November 5, President of the Russian National Academy of Sciences Alexander Sergeev.
Besides, CSTO Secretary General Stanislav Zas visited Armenia on August 10 and December 23.
It should be noted that the session of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council was held in Yerevan on November 18, with the participation of the Prime Ministers of the EEU countries (Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan). This was probably the only high-level international event in Armenia in 2021.
Delegations from EU countries and European institutions are not far behind the Russian side in terms of the intensity of visits. The first European guest to visit Armenia after the war was the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs of France Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne on January 28. The latter also visited Armenia on April 23 as member of a delegation of the President of the French Senate Gerard Larcher and parliamentarians.
Lithuanian Foreign Minister Gabrielus Landsbergis visited Armenia on April 26, and on June 25, Landsbergis visited Armenia with Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg and Romanian Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu․ By the way, on November 19, 2020, together with the foreign ministers of 10 EU member states, the latter initiated the intensification process of the EU participation in the resolution of conflicts in the post-Soviet space.
Besides, the following visits took place to Armenia in the mentioned period:
March 16 – OSCE Chairperson-in-Office Anne Linden,
July 9 – European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi,
July 17 – CoE President Charles Michel,
July 20 – Chairperson of the Subcommittee on Security and Defense of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Council of Europe Nathalie Loiseau,
September 13, October 21 and November 30 – EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the Crisis in Georgia Toivo Klaar. The latter also visited Armenia on December 19, bringing with him 10 prisoners of war from Baku. It should be noted, however, that according to the website of the Prime Minister of Armenia, Klaar and Pashinyan did not meet on December 19․
Foreign Minister of Slovakia Ivan Korcok visited Armenia on September 14.
October 1 – Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic Jakub Kulhanek,
October 19 – The CoE delegation
November 5 – PACE Monitoring Committee Co-Rapporteurs on Armenia Kimo Kilյunen and Boriana Aberg,
November 19 – Deputy Speaker of the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania Andrius Mazuronis.
US and NATO
The first American official to visit Armenia after the 44-day war was Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Reeker on June 10. On November 3, the newly appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Erika Olson visited Armenia.
On October 21, 2021, following the war, NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia Javier Colomina Piriz visited Armenia.
As we have already mentioned, the highest level visit to Armenia was made by the Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili. Besides, the Georgian Defense Minister visited Armenia on November 2. By the way, on March 25, Armenia also hosted the Iraqi Defense Minister and his delegation.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif visited Armenia on January 27 and May 26, and the Prosecutor General on October 13.
The Foreign Minister of Uruguay visited Armenia on August 16, the Head of the Organization of La Francophonie Louise Mushikivwabo visited Armenia on October 5, and the Foreign Minister of India on October 13.
As for the visits of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, the full-member visit of the Co-Chairs took place only on December 12, 2020. On September 6, 2021, Russian Co-Chair Igor Khovaev visited Armenia, followed by French Co-Chair Stephane Visconti on September 13.
Chairman of the Board of Air Arabia Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed Al-Thani also visited Armenia on July 14, the Vice President of the World Bank on November 15, the Deputy Secretary of State of the Vatican on October 28, as well as various public figures and businessmen, etc.
In conclusion, we can state that the greatest attention to Armenia and our region is paid by Russia and EU countries. The number of visits of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs has decreased significantly compared to the pre-war and pre-pandemic period.
Union of Informed Citizens