US, Armenia Sign MoU on Strategic Civil Nuclear Cooperation

WASHINGTON, DC — Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken met today with Armenian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ararat Mirzoyan in Washington, D.C. to launch the U.S.-Armenia Strategic Dialogue.

During their meeting, the Secretary and Foreign Minister signed a Nuclear Cooperation Memorandum of Understanding, paving the way for increased cooperation on civil nuclear matters as Armenia looks to diversify its energy supply.

The US State Department issued the following statement at the conclusion of the meeting:

The United States and Armenia maintain long-standing cooperation across the breadth of our relationship, including in the fields of security, energy, commerce, and nonproliferation.  Deepening our cooperation in civil nuclear energy, science, and technology will strengthen our strategic bilateral relationship, and have wide-ranging, positive impacts on how we work together.

Nuclear Cooperation MOUs are diplomatic mechanisms that strengthen and expand strategic ties between the United States and a partner country by providing a framework for cooperation and a mutually aligned approach to nonproliferation on civil nuclear issues and for engagement between experts from government, industry, national laboratories, and academic institutions.

We just had a very good dialogue, exchange between us, and indeed a big part of the purpose of these meetings is to relaunch the Strategic Dialogue between the United States and Armenia that was suspended because of COVID.  This is a very important vehicle by which we can continue to deepen and strengthen our relationship to pursue new areas of cooperation and collaboration, and we’re very pleased to be able to do that now,” Secretary Blinken said.

He noted that the Memorandum of Understanding on nuclear cooperation opens new cooperative paths for Armenia and the US and can also serve to strengthen very much the bilateral relationship.

“I just want to take this opportunity as we’re sitting here to, in the first instance, praise the leadership of the prime minister and his government, the democratic reforms that they’ve been pursuing, the progress that continues to be made – but also to very much welcome the dialogue between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and to express real appreciation for the vision and the courage and the flexibility that the prime minister and Armenia have been showing in this process working toward what we all want, which is a lasting peace,” Antony Blinken said.

The Armenian Foreign Minister said, in turn, that during the 30 years of diplomatic relations ethe two countries have succeeded to build very strong relations based on common and shared values of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.

“Now after the democratic Velvet Revolution of 2018, through joint efforts, we elevated the level of our collaboration, cooperation to Strategic Dialogue.  And it is very significant that I am here also in scope of the capstone session of the Strategic Dialogue.  And during this session, we focused on our democratic reforms, justice reforms, cooperation in banking sphere, looking ways of deepening cooperation in the sphere of defense, and of course prevention and fight against corruption, and many other areas.  And we appreciate United States efforts to support our reforms,” Minister Mirzoyan stated.

He stressed that Armenia also appreciate United States support for developing Armenia’s energy sector.

“And I also want to note that we value our partnership aimed at peace and stability in our region, and in this regard I want to highlight the important role the United States of America play as a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, which has a mandate from the international community to facilitate a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.  I also appreciate United States support through the Armenia-Turkish normalization process and United States strong stance on the recognition on the condemnation of the Armenian genocide and confirmation of this stance this year, too,” the Armenian Foreign Minister said.