Nuances of What’s Happening in Armenia

Firstly, the world’s largest US Embassy is located in Baghdad. Secondly, the next largest US Embassy is located in Armenia (officially opened on May 6th, 2005 in Yerevan). The diplomatic mission covers an area of 9 hectares and houses five buildings with a total area of 14,000 square meters. This is the second largest (after Germany) land ownership of the US State Department abroad.

So, the second place in the world in terms of numbers and size. What for? This is also no secret (here you can also look at the map of the region, in the heart of which are precisely Yerevan and Baghdad):

Analyst of the Truman National Security Project (US) Daniel Gaynor, answering the question why the US attaches such importance to Armenia: “The best explanation is the location. Armenia, a landlocked country with a population of three million, is located in perhaps the most turbulent region in the world. Armenia borders Turkey, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Iran. The United States has its own stakes in all these five countries, and Armenia is in sight as a potentially powerful lever to advance American goals.”

The number of employees of the US diplomatic mission in Armenia was announced by various media outlets at 1500-2500 people. This may well be true, given the staffing peak of the Embassy in Baghdad of 16,000 employees (for comparison, in 2017, Russia demanded that the US reduce the number of diplomats and technical staff working in Russia to 455 by September 1st). The population of Armenia, let me remind you, is 2,956,900.

In addition to this team, USAID, NDI, NED, the Eurasia Partnership Foundation, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the British Council and Department for International Development (DFID), the German GTZ, the Open Society Institute (Soros Foundation), and many others are active in Armenia. Most of them have been active since the 90s. NDI alone supports: the Helsinki Association, the Helsinki Committee of Armenia, the Caucasus Center of Peacemaking Initiatives, the Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly-Vanadzor, and the Committee to Protect Freedom of Expression. Needless to say, there are a lot of people from these structures among the representatives of the highest authorities of Armenia today.

All of the above is only a small part of what is happening in reality, the abundance of foreign NGOs there is rippling in the eyes, the sums listed are estimated in millions and millions of dollars. Objectively, Armenia today has become the tip of a spear, polished and razor-sharp. Do I need to say where it is directed?

Sergey Kolyasnikov

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