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EU Mission in Armenia marks 1st anniversary

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. The 20th February marked 1 year since the European Union Mission in Armenia (EUMA) deployed to Armenia. The Mission is tasked with patrolling and reporting on the situation on the ground on the border with Azerbaijan.

To this day, EUMA has conducted over 1720 patrols contributing to enhanced security and stability on the Armenian side of the bilateral state border with Azerbaijan, the EEAS said in a statement. 

EUMA contributes to human security in conflict-affected areas in Armenia and through its presence on the ground aims to build confidence among the local population in border areas. The Mission is exclusively civilian and unarmed, operating as an impartial actor. Through its reporting to Brussels, it has contributed to a better understanding of the situation on the ground. It also plays an important role in support of EU high-level efforts for Armenia-Azerbaijan normalisation.

On 11 December 2023, the EU Foreign Affairs Council agreed to strengthen the observation capacity of EUMA within the Mission’s existing Area of Operation by increasing its presence on the ground from 138 staff to 209.

Head of EUMA, Markus Ritter said:

‘’The reinforcement of the Mission and increasing the number of staff enables us to conduct more patrols, contributing to overall security and stability in the region. We are conducting daily patrols to observe and report the situation on the ground. On this special day, I want to acknowledge the valuable work of the Mission’s personnel and thank the 23 EU Member States who are contributing staff to the mission. I also want to thank Canada for sending their first expert to EUMA. I would like to convey my sincere appreciation to our Armenian friends and partners for their warm welcome and the excellent cooperation during the past year.’’

EU Civilian Operations Commander Stefano Tomat said:

“I am very proud of what has been achieved by the mission so far.  It has conducted its activities with exemplary professionalism. EUMA’s presence on the ground is proof of EU engagement for peace and stability in the region.”

The EU Ambassador to Armenia Vassilis Maragos said:

“I want to thank EUMA staff for their dedication. EUMA helps to ensure an environment conducive to normalisation efforts and has made a worthy contribution to stabilizing the situation around Armenia."

EUMA operates from Headquarters in Yeghegnadzor, with six Forward Operating bases in Kapan, Goris, Jermuk, Yeghegnadzor, Martuni and Ijevan. The Mission will open a Liaison and Support Office in Yerevan in spring 2024. The mission has a two year mandate which runs until February 2025.

Speaking at a February 21 press conference, Ritter said, “We remain committed to our mandate as an impartial actor, in support of the EU’s efforts for normalization in this region.”

He added that the mission has contributed to de-escalation of the tension and reduction of the number of incidents.

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