Print   

Appendix

of RA President Decree NH-37-N

of February 7, 2007

REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA

NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGY

(approved at the session of National Security Council at the RA President office on January 26, 2007)

INTRODUCTION: DEFINITION OF THE NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGY OF THE REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA

The National Security Strategy of the Republic of Armenia is a system of state policy aimed to guarantee state, public, and individual security, sustainable development and the maintenance of the Armenian identity. It is implemented through the development and execution of a unified state policy based on an all-inclusive system of democratic values for all spheres of life.

The National Security Strategy is subject to further amendment in order to better address the domestic and international situation and to address the changing security threats and challenges, as well as to reflect the needs related to the effective implementation of the aims of this document.

The main guarantees for the implementation of the National Security Strategy are:

- an efficient system of governance;

- the rule of law;

- a consolidation of democratic values;

- an independent and impartial judiciary;

- combatability of the armed forces;

- efficient security and law-enforcement structures;

- foreign policy ensuring effective international engagement;

and,

- comprehensive social justice.

I. FUNDAMENTAL VALUES OF THE NATIONAL SECURITY OF THE REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA, FACTORS AND POLICIES OF SECURITY GUARANTEE, THREATS AGAINST IT

1. FUNDAMENTAL VALUES OF THE NATIONAL SECURITY OF THE REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA

The fundamental values of the National Security of the Republic of Armenia are:

INDEPENDENCE. The Republic of Armenia is a sovereign, democratic state, based on the principles of social justice and the rule of law;

PROTECTION OF THE STATE AND ITS POPULATION. The Republic of Armenia guarantees the territorial integrity and inviolability of the borders of the state, and ensures the physical safety of its population;

PEACE AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION. The Republic of Armenia aspires to expand and develop its level of international engagement, and to promote peace and security in both the regional and global context;

PRESERVATION OF NATIONAL IDENTITY. The Republic of Armenia strives to preserve and develop the identity of the Armenian nation, within both Armenia and throughout its Diaspora;

PROSPERITY. The Republic of Armenia aims to secure a higher quality of life for all of its population through sustainable development.

2. FACTORS AND POLICIES OF NATIONAL SECURITY GUARANTEE

The factors and policies serving the fundamental values of national security include:

INDEPENDENCE

- consolidating efficient governance supported by a stable constitutional order, through efficient and transparent state institutions and public administration;

- enhancing and protecting democracy and civil liberties;

- safeguarding all human rights and fundamental freedoms;

- fully integrating and protecting all ethnic and national minorities residing in Armenia;

- strengthening and consolidating all elements of a market economy, while promoting science-based, innovative, export-oriented industries;

and,

- ensuring the reliability, security and safety of energy, transport and communication infrastructure.

SECURITY OF THE STATE AND POPULATION

- maintaining modern and professional armed forces and an efficient security and law-enforcement structure;

-engaging in the global effort to combat transnational threats such as international terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their related components, organized crime, human trafficking and the illegal drugs trade, and production and import of low-quality food products;

- forming favorable environment for the present and future generations;

- maintaining an efficient utilization of natural resources, with comprehensive environmental regulation and protection; and,

- integrating into international structures for the monitoring and prevention of natural and man-made disasters, adopting a reliable early-warning alert system to preempt and prevent natural and man-made disasters, and to ensure urban security and public safety.

PEACE AND INTERNATIONAL SECURITY - consolidating Armenias international standing and credibility, pursuing lasting peace and security in the region, and a deeper engagement in international security, including participation in international peacekeeping operations.

PRESERVATION OF THE NATIONAL IDENTITY - developing and implementing a comprehensive concept of ArmeniaDiaspora relations, with a broader mobilization of the potential of the Armenian Diaspora;

- promoting and fostering Armenian studieslanguage, literature, history and culture as factors ensuring continuity of national spiritual heritage and symbolizing national identity;

and,

- enhancing the Armenian national culture along with preserving the elements of its distinguishing national features, aware of universal cultural values and developments, including the promotion of Armenian cultural heritage abroad.

PROSPERITY - eradicating poverty;

- implementing a social policy aimed at protecting the vulnerable segments of the Armenian population;

- developing and implementing competitive and efficient science and education policies, with a special focus on developing innovative technologies;

- providing more inclusive and effective healthcare meeting highest international standards;

and,

- ensuring conditions for the development of spiritual and cultural potential of the individual and society.

3. THREATS TO NATIONAL SECURITY

Threats to national security are defined as events, actions, or the absence thereof, that may threaten the existence of the Armenian state, society, family or individual. Such threats may emanate from domestic (internal threats) or foreign (external threats) sources.

The key issue of the National Security of the Republic of Armenia is the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.

Since attaining independence at the end of the 20th century, Armenia has been engaged in a difficult process of transition which is the source of its main domestic threats.

The National Security of the Republic of Armenia has also been faced with the emergence of several new inter- and intra-regional threats. Inter-regional threats stem mainly from unresolved ethnic and armed conflicts in neighboring states, whereas intra-regional threats are rooted in a clash of interests of the main powers in the region.

EXTERNAL THREATS

USE OF FORCE. The Republic of Azerbaijan continues to pursue an aggressive policy of militant posturing that explicitly threatens the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh. Despite numerous factors preventing such development, openly militant statements articulated at the highest level, cause to consider them as direct threats. In light of the heightened threat environment, there is an additional danger that the Republic of Turkey, a strategic partner of Azerbaijan, may also pose an additional threat. Taking into consideration the universally known provisions of international law, the Republic of Armenia considers the trade and transport blockade imposed by Turkey and Azerbaijan as a use of force against the Republic of Armenia;

ETHNIC CONFLICTS, INTERNAL UNREST AND MILITARY ACTIVITIES IN NEIGHBORING STATES. Such destabilizing developments may create a more diverse set of security threats for Armenia, from the disruption and disintegration of transit infrastructures to the spillover of ongoing military actions from neighboring states;

DISRUPTION OF TRANSIT THROUGH NEIGHBORING STATES. The disruption of both the TbilisiSukhumi railway and the road from Georgia into Russia has posed a significantly negative impact on Armenia. The imposition of broad international economic sanctions on Iran would also directly threaten the National Security of the Republic of Armenia;

WEAKENING OR INEFFICIENCY OF STRATEGIC ALLIANCES. It is the understanding of the Republic of Armenia that membership in a strategic alliance necessitates that all alliance members are inherently prohibited against adopting any action that violates the interests of the other alliance members. The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) should, therefore, clarify the regulations regarding its involvement in the cases of military aggression directed against a member state;

TERRORISM AND TRANSNATIONAL CRIME. International terrorism in all its forms, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and narcotics, money laundering, and human trafficking, each constitute a direct threat to the Republic of Armenia;

ENERGY DEPENDENCE. Armenia, with a scarcity of natural resources, is dependent on external energy supplies. Recent reforms, however, have led to more efficient energy relations both domestically and with Armenias main energy supplier, the Russian Federation, thereby easing Armenias energy dependence;

ARMENIAS ISOLATION FROM REGIONAL PROJECTS. Armenian participation in regional infrastructure projects is of a great significance and, in this respect Armenia highly values the regional TRASSECA and INOGATE programs of the European Union (EU). Armenia also sees Azerbaijans effort to isolate Armenia from such regional development programs as a direct threat;

DECLINE OF NATIONAL AND CULTURAL IDENTITY IN THE ARMENIAN DIASPORA. The Republic of Armenia attaches a great importance to the preservation of the national identity in the Armenian Diaspora. Well-organized and efficiently integrated Diasporan communities are important contributions to the overall increase in Armenias international involvement. Any weakening of the Armenia-Diaspora ties and the absence of mutually enriching contacts may threaten the fundamental values of the National Security of the Republic of Armenia;

EPIDEMICS AND NATURAL DISASTERS. The outbreak and spread of life-threatening epidemics globally and in neighboring regions, as well as natural or man-made disasters, may threaten the National Security of the Republic of Armenia.

INTERNAL THREATS

DETERIORATION IN THE EFFICACY OF PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION AND THE DECLINE IN TRUST IN THE JUDICIARY. The Republic of Armenia is engaged in a transitional process of an active reform. Any deterioration in the efficacy of public administration and any decrease in the speed or scope of its reform effort are seen as potential threats to national security. The effectiveness, impartiality and independence of the judiciary are crucial for Armenia and, along with the efficacy of public administration, are essential considerations to sustain public trust;

INSUFFICIENCY OF THE POLITICAL SYSTEM. The current state of inadequacy among the political parties threatens the national security and the internal democratization and development of political parties is a key prerequisite for the consolidation of democracy in the country;

INSUFFICIENT LEVEL OF DEMOCRATIC CONSOLIDATION. Continuity and effectiveness of democratic systems of governance are at risk in all of the countries in transition. Direct threats in this regard include an inadequate protection of human rights, shortcomings in electoral procedures and performance, and insufficient inclusion and engagement of civil society;

POLARIZATION. The inadequate and incomplete provision of social security, significant levels of poverty, insufficient or unequal access to all aspects of professional training, health and social services, and emerging intolerance, comprise traditional challenges for all states in transition. Despite Armenias demonstrable progress in addressing these challenges, they remain significant risk factors for overall national security;

URBANIZATION. The level of urbanization in Armenia was already quite significant during the Soviet period and has only continued since independence. This increase in urbanization stems mainly from a combination of inconsistencies in the labor market and a rural-urban division in access to education and living conditions, most notable in the capital. The continuation of this trend of urbanization constitutes a threat to the national security, as it results in a pattern of overly compact inhabitation and settlement in the areas prone to seismic activity, a deterioration of the demographic balance in rural areas, and a depopulation of border villages;

CHALLENGES FROM THE MARKET ECONOMY AND FINANCIAL-BUDGET MANAGEMENT. An insufficiently competitive economic environment, an inadequate regulation of natural monopolies, and an underground or shadow economy and large cash flows, each pose a serious risk factor for the country. The Republic of Armenia strives to maintain consistent rates of high economic growth and, to foster liberalized trade, seeks to develop small and medium enterprises and attraction and safeguard foreign investment;

INADEQUATE INFRASTRUCTURE. The Republic of Armenia faces a daunting challenge to construct and extend additional road links, provide reliable and safe water, and develop telecommunications networks and other related infrastructure;

LOW LEVEL OF SCIENCE AND EDUCATION. Education is a traditionally important priority for Armenia. Inefficient administration in the science and education sectors, inadequate levels of international engagement and collaboration, and insufficient access to professional education are threats to national security;

INADEQUATE INTELLECTUAL AND NATIONAL EDUCATION. The education of national morals and tenets of patriotism should start at home and continue through all levels of formal education. An insufficient awareness of national ideals, respect towards the state and its institutions, and individual morality, including healthy living, the traditional role of the family, and the misinterpretation of the national identity, threaten national security;

NEGATIVE DEMOGRAPHIC TRENDS. The Republic of Armenia sees a low national birthrate, disappointing indexes of health, mortality, life expectancy and the quality of life, unregulated and illegal migration, especially among the educational, scientific and cultural workforce, as demographic threats to national security;

ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS AND EFFICIENT ADMINISTRATION OF NATURAL RESOURCES. The Republic of Armenia recognizes the importance of increasing the efficient use and protection of the countrys mineral and natural resources, especially its water and forest resources. The preservation of Lake Sevan and the properly regulated utilization of its natural resources are priority elements of the environmental policy of Armenia;

EPIDEMICS AND DISASTERS. The outbreak of epidemics, devastating earthquakes and other natural and man-made disasters pose potential security risk factors.

The National Security Strategy serves as the basis for any policies that the Republic of Armenia may develop and implement to prevent and overcome threats and risks to national security, and provides a guide to guarantee the sustainable development of the Armenian state and the society.

II. DOMESTIC SECURITY STRATEGY

The sustainable and secure development of the Republic of Armenia calls for greater efficiency in governance, establishment of democratic values and continued economic growth. In recognition of the above, Armenia has undertaken a comprehensive reform process. The implementation of these reform programs is supported by the preservation of the Armenian national identity, through a full utilization of national potential and is supported by and based on international best practices. Thus, any failure or delay in the reform effort is a direct threat to the National Security of the Republic of Armenia.

The implementation of these reforms is ensured through an integrated national policy and is reflected by the Armenian Constitution, its obligations under international treaties, legislation, presidential decrees and regulations, and all governmental decisions and supporting sub-legislation.

1. EFFICIENT PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION

Goals: an increased level of state governance, with a solid system of the political system, the establishment of security and the protection of democratic values, first and foremost all human and civil rights, and the development of a civil society.

Institutional reforms are aimed at the strengthening of a democratic state, the effective functioning of the bodies of public administration, the independence and impartiality of the judiciary, a consolidation of the system of local self-government, the wider inclusion of civil society in the decision-making and monitoring processes, and an intensification of the fight against corruption, especially bribery. In this respect, Armenia has initiated a number of long-term state programs, most notably an anti-corruption strategy, sound administrative justice and innovative e-governance projects.

One of the national security-related priority programs is the creation of an efficient disaster management system.

The Republic of Armenia considers a strategic reform of judiciary as one of the key priorities for the establishment of a durable constitutional order, the rule of law, and for the effective functioning of the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government. These reforms are further aimed at the protection of human and civil rights, and the protection of the state, society and individual against illegal actions.

2. BUILDING THE ARMED FORCES

Goals: the creation of a military capability able to defend and resist any aggression or incursion, to guarantee the physical safety, sovereignty and independence of the people of the Republic of Armenia, and to safeguard the territorial integrity of the state.

Efficient and modern Armenian Armed Forces must always be prepared to repulse any threat and guarantee the military security of the Republic of Armenia. The priorities and goals of the defense of the Republic of Armenia are to be established and formulated in a separate document on military doctrine. A defense strategy is the basis of the activities of the Armenian Armed Forces.

The Republic of Armenia consistently adheres to the principles of civilian control and democratic planning within the defense budget process.

The Republic of Armenia recognizes the inability of an individual state to address the modern challenges alone, and aspires to engage in active military-political cooperation with both the states of and beyond the region. The Armenian military holds an important place as a contributor and partner in international peace and security efforts.

All defense reforms and cooperation serve the interests of the Republic of Armenia and are not aimed against any third party or country.

3. LIBERALIZING THE ECONOMY

Goals: sustainable economic growth, the development of small and medium enterprises, energy independence, and the creation of an open and attractive business environment.

The respect and protection of private property and entrepreneurship are long-held facets of the traditional Armenian culture, and have been reflected in reform policies aimed at creating favorable conditions for rapid economic growth.

Armenia has focused on promoting the development of small and medium enterprises, in recognition of their invaluable role in the establishment of a democratic society and the preservation of traditional family ties.

The key priorities in fostering sustainable economic growth include:

- promoting market economic relations;

- consolidating competition;

- achieving macroeconomic and financial stability, developing financial system;

- enhancing financial intermediation;

- improving a competitive business environment, with a significant decrease in the shadow economy and the dollarization;

- preventing monopolization within sectors of the economy, including the efficient administration and supervision of natural monopolies;

- implementing a long-term program of investment promotion;

- introducing more balanced territorial and sectoral social and economic development, with an effective administration of infrastructure;

- promoting technology-oriented and environmentally sound industries;

and,

- promoting exports.

The Republic of Armenia identifies the need to implement reforms focused on individual branches of industry and sets the following priorities:

- to pursue greater energy independence through a diversification of energy supplies and production, the creation of new sources of energy, including nuclear energy, and to develop a stable and reliable export-oriented energy system;

- to promote the sustainable development of transport, through the integration of Armenia in regional transit routes and networks, while striving to effectively lift the blockade of Armenia;

- to introduce sound environmental practices, with the proper and prudent utilization of all natural resources, including water, to preserve Lake Sevan and its surroundings, to restore and preserve forests, ensure the safe use of nuclear power, supervise the storage of hazardous chemicals, radioactive material and waste, and to introduce an early-warning alert rapid-reaction and disaster management system for natural and man-made disasters, including the raising of disaster awareness and public preparedness; and,

- to ensure biological safety and food security, including an increase in agricultural production and food processing capacity, the improvement of the import-export balance in agricultural trade, compliance with international food safety standards, the implementation of new, inclusive regional development projects, with a special focus on the border and highland areas, and an increase in agricultural efficiency through the introduction of new modern technologies.

4. NEW QUALITY OF LIFE AND MORALE

Goals: poverty eradication, higher living standards over the long-term, the consolidation of social justice and an elimination of societal polarization, the modernization of education and science, with greater access to education, and continued cultural and intellectual development.

The policy priorities in the fields of social security, education, intellectual and cultural developments include:

- consolidating the state based on social justice;

- establishing and promoting public accord;

- addressing the social needs of the population, with greater access to social services;

- improving social standards through the creation of new jobs and the establishment of a social insurance system;

- improving the system of pensions, raising the minimal pension to internationally accepted standards;

- addressing the negative demographic situation;

- regenerating the professional community, especially in the fields of science and education, as a prerequisite for sustainable economic and public development.

-Therefore, the Republic of Armenia aspires to:

- implement a long-term state policy aimed at empowering the countrys scientific potential, restructuring educational system to comply with European standards and to meet the social and economic needs of the state, introducing modern education technologies;

- translate the body of academic knowledge for the use in Armenia, engage academia in all areas, including defense, in order to achieve more efficient modernization;

- prevent the brain-drain;

- increase the role of the Armenian as a language of the national identity and of the state language;

- effectively protect intellectual property;

- create a favorable environment for the preservation and reproduction of universal and national values, national traditions, and standards of cultural and intellectual heritage;

- ensure increased access to cultural values;

- support the spiritual, moral, social and cultural activities of the Armenian Apostolic Church;

- prevent any threat to the cultural and intellectual identity and moral values of the Armenian people;

- engage in greater cooperation with other states in order to preserve Armenian cultural, spiritual and historic monuments located within their territory;

- protect the historic, spiritual, cultural heritage and the ethnic identity of the national minorities living in Armenia;

- integrate into the international information area, to ensure professional promotion of Armenia and the Armenians, and to counter disinformation and propaganda;

- promote relevant information about Armenia and all branches of Armenian studies through the Internet, with the creation of relevant Armenian websites;

- promote sustainable and balanced urban development, including creation of harmonious biosphere and fostering of proportionate territorial density of population, and incorporating considerations of seismic vulnerability, especially in Yerevan;

- create a more efficient healthcare system, through the promotion of healthy living, the regulation and monitoring of medication and related medicinal supplies, the prevention of diseases, especially radiation sickness, biological terrorism and substance abuse, and the early diagnosis of disease and their treatment, with a focus on the protection of mothers and infants and pre-natal care.

III. THE REPUBLIC OF NAGORNO KARABAKH

The just and peaceful resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict is a key issue for the National Security Strategy of the Republic of Armenia, which is the guarantor of the safety and security of the population of the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh (Artsakh).

The parties to the conflict have each assented to the mediation by the Organization for Security and Cooperations (OSCE) Minsk Group and continue to support the Minsk Group co-chairing states (France, the Russian Federation, and the United States) in their effort to support a negotiated resolution to the Karabakh conflict. The Republic of Armenia appreciates the high level of expertise of those involved in the negotiations and does not deem it necessary to consider or accept declarations made by other international organizations or their possible involvement.

The Republic of Armenia advocates a peaceful and compromise-based solution to the conflict.

The legal aspects for the foundation of the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh are sound and not in question. The position of the Republic of Armenia is based on the principle that any final solution or final document should be approved by the Karabakh side and Armenia is ready to accept only a resolution which would affirm the irreversible reality of the existence of the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh.

Nagorno Karabakh should have a geographic link to Armenia and its security should be guaranteed.

Azerbaijans militant policy vis-a-vis Nagorno Karabakh and its readiness to opt for the military solution of the problem are direct threats to the security of Armenia. Under such circumstances, Armenia needs to have an army with increased defense capability to guarantee its security. The main priority of the army is to safeguard the inviolability of the borders of the Republic of Armenia and to be the guarantor of the physical safety of the peoples of the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh.

IV. EXTERNAL SECURITY STRATEGY

Armenia implements an external security strategy based on the following basic principles:

COMPLEMENTARITY

The foreign policy of Armenia is based on a partnership approach that seeks to simultaneously develop relations with all states in the region and with states with interests in the region. Such a policy is aimed at maintaining an overall balance in the region. The positive trends in the dialogue and cooperation among the major powers and the consolidation of the international community to combat terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction are conducive to Armenias pursuit of its foreign policy of complementarity.

ENGAGEMENT

Armenia is actively involved in both regional and international integration and regards itself as an equal partner in such processes. Armenia sees its engagement and participation in these international developments as being in conformity with Armenian interests. Armenias strategic partnership with Russia, its adoption of a European model of development, mutually beneficial cooperation with Iran and the United States, membership in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), and its intensification of the cooperation with the NATO alliance, all contribute to the consolidation of the potential of Armenias policy of complementarity.

There are three layers of Armenias external security strategy: the international, regional and pan-Armenian.

1. INTERNATIONAL

In order to keep pace with international developments, and to better address their positive and negative trends, the Republic of Armenia has adopted a strategy of promoting its national interests through international integration and active engagement. Such a strategy demands active participation in current international developments and intensive multilateral, multi-layer and bilateral policy.

The main directions of the strategy of integration/engagement are:

- participating in global security efforts, particularly, fight against terrorism and peacekeeping operations;

- participating in international arms control regimes;

- active engaging in major international organizations;

- developing relations with global centers of power and countries with interests in the region;

and,

- participating in European and post-Soviet integration.

1.1. MILITARY-POLITICAL COMPONENTS OF THE EXTERNAL SECURITY STRATEGY

Armenias military cooperation with individual states and membership in international and regional security structures, and its active participation in their programs, are aimed only at consolidating the security of the country. The main components of military-political security include:

- bilateral relations with Russia, with defense and technical military cooperation, through a strategic partnership between the two states;

- participation in the Collective Security Treaty Organization;

- bilateral military cooperation, particularly with the United States and Greece;

- cooperation with the NATO alliance;

and,

- engagement in activities of international security organizations, such as the OSCE, which guarantee open and transparent arms control regimes.

COLLECTIVE SECURITY TREATY ORGANIZATION (CSTO)

Armenia is a founding member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). The aim of the CSTO is to collectively prevent and, if necessary, repulse a military threat against any of its participating states.

Armenia views its participation in this organization as a component of its security, which is exercised through various levels of ties between its member states. The military component of the CSTO provides privileged conditions for the supply of the military equipment to CSTO member-states, which is a key priority for Armenia.

The intensification of the military component of the CSTO is aimed at the establishment of mechanisms for military cooperation and for an effective way to exchange information and address international threats, such as terrorism and trafficking in arms and drugs.

NORTH ATLANTIC TREATY ORGANIZATION (NATO)

Armenia strives to establish intensive relations with NATO through the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) and the Partnership for Peace (PfP) program.

Armenias active participation in the PfP is important both in terms of the necessity for a significant level of relations with European security structureNATOand for the development of bilateral relations with the United States and other allies, but also for Armenias policy of European integration.

Armenia is intensifying its political dialogue with NATO, and is establishing compatible military units, such as the current peacekeeping battalion, capable of participating in NATO peacekeeping operations. Armenia is also a part of NATOs Planning and Review process.

The successful implementation of the PfP Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) will foster the greater modernization and efficiency of the Armenian defense system and will bring it in closer conformity with the defense systems of advanced states, including their armed forces.

1.2. MEMBERSHIP IN INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

UNITED NATIONS

Since acquiring UN membership in 1992, Armenia has fully adhered to the universal values of the United Nations, such as the protection of human rights, democracy and rule of law as an integral constituent of the state ideology, and has both actively participated in various activities of the organization and cooperated with many bodies, subsidiary organs and structures of the United Nations organization.

Through its continued participation and practical contribution to the international fight against terrorism and to several UN peacekeeping efforts, Armenia will assist international security and stability efforts.

While Armenia attributes great importance to the leading role of the United Nations in maintaining international peace and security, it also believes that the new geopolitical realities of today demand a reform of the organization in order to better address new challenges.

EUROPEAN STRUCTURES

a. EUROPEAN UNION (EU)

The development and consolidation of Armenias relations with the European structures, and with the European Union (EU) above all, is a priority direction for the countrys foreign policy.

The further intensification of the countrys diverse cooperation with the EU will promote the consolidation of democracy, strengthen the rule of law, and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms.

In addition, the development of relations with the EU, as a major global economic and political power, broadens Armenias trade and economic links and supports the countrys economic development.

Through its regional initiatives, the EU promotes a favorable environment for the establishment of lasting stability and cooperation in the South Caucasus region. Armenias inclusion in the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) is a major step forward toward European integration.

Establishment of close relations with the EU serves Armenias long-term interests.

b. COUNCIL OF EUROPE

Membership in the Council of Europe affirmed Armenias place in the European family and its commitment to develop itself as a country in adherence to European political, legal, cultural, and human rights standards.

Armenia highly values the readiness of the Council of Europe to promote the inter-state and civil society contacts in the South Caucasus and considers it an important factor for the fostering of regional cooperation, conflict resolution and regional security.

c. ORGANIZATION FOR SECURITY AND COOPERATION IN EUROPE (OSCE)

Armenias participation in the OSCE is important for the promotion of peace and security, and for the expansion of the principles of democracy and rule of law.

The role of the OSCE, and its Minsk Group, the mediating body engaged in the resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, makes the OSCE an especially important organization for Armenia.

Armenias active involvement in the three main dimensions of the OSCE, the politico-military, the economic and environmental, and the human, are important factors for the security and stability of the country.

COMMONWEALTH OF INDEPENDENT STATES (CIS)

Armenia is a founding member of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and is an active contributor to the development and implementation of its cooperation programs. Such a policy serves the economic, humanitarian, political, military and other interests of the country.

The CIS promotes the economic, social and humanitarian ties between its members and is making an effort to establish greater cooperation in various domainsin the politico-military arena, the security of external borders, in combating international terrorism and in fighting organized crime, drug trafficking and illegal migration.

INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC ORGANIZATIONS

Armenia is greatly interested in its further integration into international economic organizations and more active participation in their economic activities. The countrys membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO) is a major step in this direction.

The continued close and successful cooperation between Armenia and the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and their sizable assistance to Armenia, have been a significant contribution to the efficiency of reforms in Armenia.

Armenia also participates in the activities of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC).

1.3. BILATERAL DIMENSIONS OF EXTERNAL SECURITY

RUSSIAN FEDERATION

Although Russia includes a part of the Caucasus, ArmenianRussian relations go far beyond the regional level. The importance of Russias role for the security of Armenia, the traditional friendly links between the two nations, the level of trade and economic relations, Russias role in the Nagorno Karabakh mediation effort, as well as the presence of a significant Armenian community in Russia, all contribute to a strategic partnership.

The foundation for this strategic partnership was established through a Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance and the Declaration on the Collaboration towards the 21st Century. Both these agreements and a bilateral agreement on defense cooperation, including within the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), serve as the main pillars of the Armenian security system.

The Russian military presence in Caucasus is an important factor for Armenias security and for the preservation of the political and military balance in the region. The Republic of Armenia and the Russian Federation jointly guard the Armenian borders and cooperate in air defense.

Armenia attributes a great importance to its cooperation with Russia in the areas of defense, military-technical relations, energy, transportation, regional stability and security, and in the improvement of the legal status of the large number of Armenians residing in Russia.

THE UNITED STATES

The relationship between Armenia and the United States is continuing to develop dynamically, both because of the important U.S. role in regional and global military-political and economic processes and international relations and due to the diverse U.S. assistance provided to Armenia.

Armenia and the United States closely cooperate in the implementation of democratic reforms in Armenia. Bilateral economic cooperation and commercial ties continue to expand and the U.S. holds an increasingly significant share in foreign investment in Armenia.

The U.S. is a co-chair of the OSCEs Minsk Group and contributes to seeking a mediated resolution to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. Armenia also values the efforts of the United States in establishing greater stability and security in our region and to promote regional cooperation.

Armenia has also partnered with the U.S. in the fight against international terrorism, peacekeeping operations, as well as in the confronting the challenges of proliferation and other global security related issues.

The Armenian Diaspora, through its various organizations and centers in the United States, has contributed to the development of bilateral relations between Armenia and the United States.

EUROPEAN STATES

Armenias bilateral relations with the European states are part of its overall process toward European integration. Economic and social development, European integration, resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict, regional stability and development of regional cooperation are each high on Armenias bilateral agenda. Implementation of this agenda would only promote the intensification of the trade links, facilitate access to the European market, and encourage foreign investment in Armenia.

Armenia is interested in the diversified development of relations with its European partners, and has specifically identified the consolidation of bilateral political and economic ties as a priority. Cooperation in international organizations and the existence and positive potential of significant Armenian communities in some European states serve as additional contributions to the promotion of mutually beneficial cooperation.

Armenia also values the lessons from the Eastern European countries experience and its consideration in its reform processes.

MIDDLE EAST

Relations with the countries of the Middle East are important for Armenia given both the regions proximity and the impact of developments in the Middle East on broader international politics. Reflecting Armenias centuries-old links to the countries of the Middle East, there are still numerous Armenian communities throughout the region, that have long contributed to the social, political, economic and cultural development of the region and its constituent states.

Armenia will continue to develop its relations and cooperation with its traditional partner states in the Middle East and will strive to give new impetus to developing trade and economic relations with the Arabic countries of the Gulf and the Mediterranean regions.

ASIA AND PACIFIC

Armenia has intensified and broadened its relations with the countries of the Asia-Pacific region in general, and with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states in particular. In terms of developing both a bilateral and multilateral framework, Armenia has identified the increasing international role of major ASEAN countries, particularly China, India and Japan, their economic potential and progress, as well as opportunities for cooperating with these countries within international organizations.

2. REGIONAL

Both Armenias relations with its neighbors and developments in the region serve as basic factors for the Armenian security.

Armenia continues to advocate regional cooperation, seeks the creation of regional security system, and advocates the promotion of constructive relations among all neighboring states. Armenia also notes the challenges posed by the unresolved conflicts and disputes between the states of the region, and the absence of common and unified mechanisms for security, stability and communication.

In this way, the key to resolving the conflicts in the region, to solving the disputes and overcome historic difficulties, and to preventing the emergence of dividing lines in the region and their negative consequences, is through dialogue and cooperation.

The regional directions of the Security Strategy of the Republic of Armenia include:

- consolidating regional stability, establishing, restoring and developing mutually beneficial bilateral and multilateral regional cooperation;

- further developing neighborly relations by implementing diversified programs of cooperation with Iran and Georgia;

- resolving the Nagorno Karabakh conflict and normalizing relations with Azerbaijan;

- seeking a normalization of relations with Turkey;

- consolidating democracy throughout the region;

and,

- engaging in international economic projects focusing on the region.

2.1. BILATERAL DIMENSIONS OF EXTERNAL SECURITY

ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN

The development of traditional neighborly relations between Armenia and Iran is based on a number of shared realities: shared borders, historic and cultural ties, and mutual economic interests.

Armenias main southern transit route passes through Iran as does Armenias strategic access to Asia and Middle East, a reality only exacerbated by the blockade of Armenia imposed by its two neighboring states.

The two countries have significant interests in energy cooperation and are currently implementing several joint projects aimed at providing Armenia with important alternative sources of energy.

Armenia appreciates the balanced position which Iran, as a major actor both in the region and within the Islamic world, has adopted regarding the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.

Armenia seeks to continue to develop its cooperation with Iran in the energy sector, and is pursuing policies designed to expand bilateral trade, establish new communications, and to effectively utilize the existing potential.

Armenia also values Irans engagement in various processes in the South Caucasus region and regards it a factor contributing to maintaining balance and stability in the region.

GEORGIA

Armenia has traditionally enjoyed friendly relations with Georgia which have contributed to the maintenance of overall stability in the region.

Georgia is an important regional partner for Armenia and is seen as a partner for Armenia, with the expansion of the existing high-level bilateral cooperation rooted in the long-term strategic interests of both countries.

Armenia is mostly interested in the stable and secure development of Georgia and would welcome a lasting peaceful resolution of existing conflicts in Georgia. Such a resolution would allow Armenia to benefit from the vital transit links through Georgia and would promote the restoration of the TbilisiSukhumi railway, a consideration with particular significance for both Armenia and the region as a whole.

The existence of a large, well-established Armenian community in Georgia brings added importance to relations between two countries. The two governments have engaged in fostering cooperation aimed at improving the social and economic situation of the Armenian population of Georgia, including the Armenian community of the southern Georgian region of Javakhk.

THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY

There are no diplomatic relations between Armenia and Turkey. The establishment of normal diplomatic relations between Armenia and Turkey is hampered by preconditions set forth by the Turkish side.

Armenia has long advocated the establishment of diplomatic relations without any precondition and will continue its efforts to surmount the obstacles and improve the bilateral relations between Armenia and Turkey.

Armenia aspires for the universal recognition and condemnation, including by Turkey, of the Armenian Genocide, and sees it both as a restoration of an historical justice and as a way to improve the overall situation in the region, while also preventing similar crimes in the future.

The unnatural character of bilateral relations and the closed border by Turkey threaten the Armenian security and hamper its lasting development. The absence of normalized relations adversely affects the stability of the region as a whole and impedes the development of regional cooperation.

The normalization of ArmenianTurkish relations would decrease the risk of new dividing lines emerging in the region and would help to create a more conducive environment for the final settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.

Armenia closely follows Turkeys accession negotiations with the European Union and hopes that the process will avoid any application of double standards. Armenia stresses that the lifting of the Turkish blockade of Armenia, which has acquired special importance in view of Armenias inclusion in the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP), will be an important condition in the negotiations between Turkey and the EU.

AZERBAIJANI REPUBLIC

Diplomatic relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan have not been established due to the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. Azerbaijan has adopted a policy aimed at the exclusion of Armenia from all projects of regional cooperation.

Azerbaijan continuously refuses to open its communication routes with Armenia and denies all Armenian and international initiatives to engage in bilateral cooperation in an attempt to exert pressure on Armenia regarding the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.

Armenia believes that the bilateral and regional cooperation could build confidence and have a serious positive impact on the overall situation. Armenia will continue its confidence building efforts and to this end will encourage cooperation, contacts and visits on every level.

3. ARMENIA DIASPORA RELATIONS

The wide range of issues comprising ArmeniaDiaspora relations presents a significant component of the National Security Strategy of the Republic of Armenia. In sheer numbers, the Armenian Diaspora exceeds the overall population of Armenia; it is geographically diverse and stems largely from the exodus of Armenians to safety during the Genocide and related forced deportations. The Armenian Diaspora is well integrated within their host countries of residence and is active in many areas of political, economic and social affairs of those countries. The largest Diasporan communities are presently located in the Russian Federation, the United States, France, Iran, Georgia and in some Arab countries. Majority of the Diasporan Armenians are non-Armenian citizens.

In order to consolidate relations with its Diaspora, the Republic of Armenia focuses its efforts on preventing the assimilation and loss of lingual and cultural identity among the Armenians living abroad. Additionally, Armenia embraces all systemic demonstrations of Diaspora involvement in the solution of vital problems facing Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh.

The integration of the Armenian nation offers a serious degree of economic and cultural potential, especially as a means to promote trade, tourism, preservation, development and publicizing of the cultural heritage.

The preservation and intensification of ties with the Diaspora also creates a unique bridge between Armenia and the international community, as Armenian community organizations worldwide support the development of bilateral ties with different countries, and foster Armenias global integration and consolidation of democracy.

The Armenian Apostolic Church, through its capacity as the national church, also has an important mission in the integration of the Armenians and the development of the nation.

CONCLUDING PROVISIONS

The National Security Strategy of the Republic of Armenia serves as a guideline for the determination of the main directions, challenges and priorities of the countrys domestic and foreign policy. Further revisions of the National Security Strategy should address the changing nature of dynamic internal, regional and global developments, altered situation and political priorities.

Any declarations made on behalf of the Republic of Armenia and by its state officials should preserve the wording, intent and the spirit of the National Security Strategy.

In order to ensure the overall consistency of the decisions adopted by the state and administrative authorities of the Republic of Armenia, such decisions should be in accordance with the provisions of the National Security Strategy.

The provisions of the National Security Strategy are exercised on the basis of the development of guidelines and action plans in the areas of foreign policy, defense, economy, food security, energy, environment protection, the safety of communications and information, demography, science and education, and intellectual and cultural developments. These guidelines are elaborated by the Government of the Republic of Armenia in accordance with the provisions of Articles 85, 86, and 89 of the RA Constitution.

CHIEF OF STAFF

OF THE RA PRESIDENT A. GEVORKYAN