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India-Armenia Relations

  • 30 Dec 2022
  • 6 min read

For Prelims: Location of Armenia

For Mains: India-Armenia Relations

Why in News?

Armenia and India celebrated 30 years of bilateral diplomatic relations in 2022.

How have Historical Ties been?

  • Armenia and India maintain active political ties. Effective cooperation exists between the two nations within international bodies.
  • After Armenia’s independence in 1991, Armenian-Indian relations were reestablished.
  • Diplomatic relations were established between the Republic of Armenia and India in 1992.
  • In 1999, the Indian Embassy in Yerevan began operations.
  • If the Armenian-Indian political relations can be evaluated as “excellent”, Armenia is the only Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) country with which India had diplomatic relations in 1995 (other than Russia).
    • The CIS was founded in 1991 after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
    • At present the CIS unites: Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine.
  • India and Armenia signed a Treaty on Friendship and Cooperation in 1995.
  • But the trade and economic cooperation between the two countries cannot be deemed adequate.

What are the Areas of Cooperation Between the Two Countries?

  • Defence Relations:
    • Armenia had already shown interest in Indian military hardware before the 2020 war.
    • In 2020, Armenia signed a USD 40 million arms deal with India for the supply of four SWATHI radars to detect the location of weapons.
    • In October 2022, India signed an agreement with Armenia to export missiles, rockets & ammunition.
  • Supply Chain and Economy:
    • In the contest over global supply chains, Armenia provides a potential outpost for New Delhi in the Eurasian corridor which extends from the Persian Gulf to Russia and Europe.
    • Armenia can also prove a worthy developmental partner to India in domains such as agriculture, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, and technology.
    • The collaboration can provide an outstanding substitute for the debt-fuelled Chinese Belt and Road Initiative model.
    • Finally, it goes without saying that Armenia growing purchases of Indian defence hardware would provide an impetus to both public and private sector defence manufacturing in India.

What is the Significance of Armenia for India?

  • Countering Pan-Turkism:
    • Turkey’s imperial ambition of establishing a pan-Turkic empire, administered from Ankara, is identifiable in the present-day Caucasus and other parts of Eurasia.
    • The racist doctrine envisions an empire comprising all nations and regions that speak a Turkic-type language, disregarding the extent of difference between those languages and that spoken in Turkey as well as the approval of the regions’ respective populaces.
    • With recent exports of military hardware to Armenia, New Delhi has openly positioned itself on Armenian side in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and has therefore chosen to counter Azerbaijan and its supporters including Turkey and Pakistan as well as Ankara’s expansionist pan-Turkic ambitions.
  • Geo-Strategic Benefits:
    • As an ally of Azerbaijan, Pakistan has been supplying men and military hardware to assist the former in its conflicts.
    • Azerbaijan has returned the favour by offering geopolitical, geoeconomic, and geostrategic benefits to its partners in Islamabad.
    • Azerbaijan's success in Armenia would significantly energize Pakistan, with perilous consequences.
    • The purpose of seizing Armenian territory forcibly is to gain unhindered access to Turkey, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, and the entire Turkic-oriented axis of nations, up to China.
      • Munitions and military hardware could utilise this route to arrive at the doorstep of Kashmir.
    • To prevent this, New Delhi can utilize its military skills and capabilities to assist Armenia in securing itself against Azerbaijan's energy-funded superior military strength.
  • Economic Cooperation:

Way Forward

  • Armenian-Indian cooperation can become an integral part of broader contacts for Armenia with developed democracies. For these ends, high-quality and subtle diplomacy is imperative.
  • The structure of international relations are also changing, creating both potential threats and opportunities.
  • In these shifting global relations, Armenia requires a deep diversification of foreign relations.
  • The countries of the Global West may become the most auspicious directions.
  • By sharing common values, Armenia and the Community of States will be able to work closely together.
    • It is the exact area of cooperation that will ensure the active implementation of the modernization theory, institutionalization, and, possibly, strengthen national defense.

Source: IE

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