Andriy Yermak (right), head of Ukraine’s presidential office, meets Armen Grigoryan, secretary of Armenia’s Security Council, October 28, 2023.

Armenia Joins Ukraine-Backed Talks In Malta


VALLETTA, Malta (Azatutyun) — In a move that could add to tensions between Armenia and Russia, a senior Armenian official attended peace talks initiated by Ukraine and met with the chief of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s staff in Malta over the weekend.

Armen Grigoryan, the secretary of Armenia’s Security Council, was among representatives of more than 60 countries who gathered on the island to discuss Zelenskyy’s 10-point plan to end the war with Russia. The plan calls for the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and withdrawal of Russian troops from the country.

The Russian Foreign Ministry condemned the two-day meeting as a “blatantly anti-Russian event” that has “nothing to do with the search for a peaceful resolution.”

Andriy Yermak, the powerful head of Zelenskyy’s office, thanked Grigoryan for his participation when they met on the sidelines of the event. A statement by the office said Yermak praised “Armenia’s decision to join the group of states supporting the Ukrainian Peace Formula.”

“The head of the Office of the President confirmed Ukraine’s readiness to strengthen cooperation with Armenia, particularly in the context of European integration,” added the statement.

Armenian Premier Nikol Pashinyan met with Ukraine leader Volodymyr Zelenskyy

Yermak also spoke of “a new context” in Ukrainian-Armenian relations, pointing to Zelenskyy’s first-ever meeting with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan held during the European Union’s October 5 summit in Granada.

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The two leaders spoke in the Spanish city one month after Pashinyan’s wife, Anna Hakobyan, visited Kyiv to attend the annual Summit of First Ladies and Gentlemen held there. Hakobyan also delivered Armenia’s first humanitarian aid to Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion.

The Russian Foreign Ministry listed Hakobyan’s trip among “a series of unfriendly steps” taken by Yerevan against Moscow when it summoned the Armenian ambassador a few days later.

Russian-Armenian relations have deteriorated further since then. Pashinyan last week again accused Russia of not honoring its security commitments to Armenia and defended his efforts to “diversify” his country’s foreign and security policies. He made it clear, though, that Yerevan has no plans yet to demand the withdrawal of Russian troops from Armenia.

Incidentally, neither Grigoryan nor his office issued a statement on his meeting with Yermak as of October 30. Instead, Grigoryan posted on his Facebook page readouts of his meetings with other foreign officials attending the Malta talks.

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