The European Union plans to send a new civilian mission to Armenia to be deployed along its border with Azerbaijan in a month for at least two years.
According to the Azatutyun radio sources, the plan was approved last week by the of European Council's Committee on Politics and Security. On January 16 it was also approved by the Committee for Civilian Aspects of Crisis Management.
Moreover, unlike last October's 40-member team deployed to the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, this time European civil observers will patrol the entire Armenian territory.
It is not yet officially reported how many observers will arrive in Armenia, however, according to Azatutyun, the new mission will include about two hundred European specialists.
European Council's Committee on Politics and Security said in a statement that their priority will be to help reduce incidents in the border zones of Armenia and conflict-affected areas, reduce the danger for those living in those areas and thus create favorable conditions for the normalization of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan,
It proposed that the EU Ministry of Foreign Affairs develop a special action plan in the coming days that will specify how the security of the mission will be ensured, how risks will be assessed, what means of protection will be provided and, if necessary, how the evacuation of observers will be organized.
Brussels, in particular, expects Yerevan to take responsibility for managing contacts or incidents with Russian military units, deployed in Armenia as well as to provide the necessary immunities and privileges to the observers.
EU observers are expected to arrive in Armenia next month, with the mission starting on February 20. This issue will be discussed at a meeting of EU ambassadors today, and the final decision will most likely be made next Monday in Brussels, at a meeting of EU foreign ministers.
The first EU monitoring group in Armenia (EUMCAP), launched in October, completed its mandate on December 19.
Based on an agreement between the leaders of Armenia, Azerbaijan, the European Council and France, the EUMCAP was deployed along the Armenian side of the international border with Azerbaijan on October 20 to monitor, analyze and report on the situation on the ground.
For two months, the EU monitoring mission monitored the situation on the Armenian side of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border to build confidence and contribute to the work of the border delimitation commissions, ARKA reports.
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