May 25, 2024
pexels photo 19612766

pexels photo 19612766

Press statement by President von der Leyen on a Resilience and Growth Plan for Armenia

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Prime Minister Pashinyan,

Dear Secretary Blinken,

I am very glad to host this meeting together with the HR/VP Josep Borrell here in the Berlaymont in support of Armenia. We are delivering on a promise we made last October: The promise to stand shoulder to shoulder with Armenia, and at the same time, the promise to set a vision for the future of our partnership. This is what we are going to be discussing today.

This vision will be underpinned on the European Union side by a Resilience and Growth Plan for Armenia, EUR 270 million in grants over the next 4 years. We will invest in making the Armenian economy and society more robust and resistant to shocks. We will support your businesses, your talents, in particular your small and medium enterprises, so that we can help them to grow, to innovate and to access new markets. And we will invest in key infrastructure projects. For example in the Black Sea electricity cable that is a new transmission route full of opportunities. It can notably bring clean, renewable energy into Europe. We are ready to support it. In parallel, we will continue investing in Armenia’s renewable energy production and in better interconnections with Georgia. We will also be exploring cross-border transport, if and when conditions allow. In this context, I welcome your Crossroads of Peace initiative Prime Minister. Finally, we come today with new measures for aviation and nuclear safety, and for trade diversification.

This support package we are presenting today builds on the success of an existing Economic and Investment Plan from the European Union for Armenia. It has already mobilised over half a billion in investments. I think this is great news. And now we can do even more with a fresh investment perspective. This is why we have recently launched an Investment Coordination Platform. So that we can jointly identify new projects, accelerate the pace and maximise the potential of our investments on the ground. Of course, the European Union will continue to support reforms in Armenia through advice, technical support and funding.

In this context, Prime Minister, I want to congratulate you for your efforts to carry out democratic reforms. And this, despite the challenges faced. I also welcome the measures that Armenia has taken against the circumvention of our sanctions against Russia. In particular, to make sure that lethal equipment and technologies do not end up in the hands of the Russian military. This shows that the European Union and Armenia are increasingly aligned in values and interests. Now, we are going to look today at the broader partnership. And let us take it forward with a new and ambitious Partnership Agenda between the European Union and Armenia. This is what we will be discussing in more detail in a moment.

We are not forgetting, Prime Minister, about the plight of the displaced Karabakh Armenians. The humanitarian situation of refugees in Armenia remains a priority. We have provided over EUR 30 million in support for the refugees since last September. We are ready to do more to support the long-term integration of refugees.

To conclude, I want to say how happy I am to receive both of you here in the Berlaymont. Because Europe and Armenia share a long and common history. The time has come to write now a new chapter. And I am very glad, Secretary Blinken, to count on the United States as a committed and like-minded partner in these efforts. We will continue to work all together for the future of Armenia, in a stable and prosperous South Caucasus region.

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