Armenia got funding and propaganda from EU and US, but not a single bullet

Nikol Pashinyan and Samantha Power meet in Brussels (Photo: RA Prime Minister’s office, April 5, 2024)

The highly-anticipated meeting between high-ranking European and U.S. officials and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan took place in Brussels last Friday. Armenians hyped up the meeting with excitement long before it was held.

Some Armenians speculated vainly that Armenia would soon join the European Union, while others went as far as predicting Armenia would become a NATO member.

While Armenians are a wonderful people, they have had a major shortcoming during their entire history, which is the lack of skill in diplomacy.

Even while Armenians suffered from invasions, occupation, massacres and even genocide, they never understood that no foreign power would ever come to their rescue. They kept hoping that some country would save them, as if anyone had an obligation to do so. If Armenians never bothered to defend their own land, why would an outsider do such a thing? How can foreigners be more concerned about Armenia’s security and well-being than Armenians themselves?

Despite all the evidence to the contrary, Armenians kept on believing for thousands of years the fairy tale that someone would come to their rescue. More recently, most Armenians believed that should they find themselves in real danger, Russia would save them. Naturally, this is the continuation of a longstanding wishful thinking. Despite Armenian expectations, when Russia did not protect Artsakh in 2020 from Azerbaijan’s invasion, it was obvious that Russia had no obligation to defend Artsakh since it was not part of the Republic of Armenia. After all, the military alliance called the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) was between Russia, four other ex-Soviet countries and the Republic of Armenia, not Artsakh. But when Azerbaijan occupied portions of Armenia in 2021 and 2022, many more Armenians began to wake up to the fact that the CSTO would not lift a finger to defend Armenia’s territory.

One would have thought that once Armenians finally realized this fact, they would at long last conclude that no one would defend Armenia. Regrettably, that’s not what happened. They continued their eternal search for saviors. Due to the growing antipathy toward Russia, many Armenians started believing that the West (Europe and the United States) or Iran would now come to their rescue. After a while, when they see that Europe, the U.S. and Iran are not going to save them, they may then fantasize that India and China will defend them. Thus, they will go from country to country looking for a new protector. But Armenians continue to believe that others are obligated to defend them. Every country in the world protects its own national interests, except, it seems, Armenia. If Armenia had a competent leader, he would have taken emergency steps to arm the country to the teeth to defend itself. There are those who say that Armenia would never be able to protect itself from its more powerful enemies, no matter how much it arms itself. While this is true, the solution is not to leave the borders of Armenia unprotected so anyone can walk in. Armenia’s enemies must realize that if they dare to cross its borders, they would pay a heavy price. They should know that Armenia is not a public park that they can freely go in as they please.

Turning to the Brussels meeting of last Friday, naturally joining the European Union or NATO never came up. Armenia did receive pledges for a few hundred million dollars over the next four years and a smaller amount from the United States in economic aid. Naturally, this is a good thing. Who can argue against receiving a grant, assuming that the money will be wisely spent and not go to the pockets of pro-government contractors?

Money was allocated to Armenia for economic development and various other infrastructures, such as energy. That is also good. We then heard a lot of propaganda about Armenia being a democratic state. This was simply lip service to keep Prime Minister Pashinyan happy. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken kept harping on about promoting democracy in Armenia even though the U.S. government pays no attention to such meaningless principles, except when it suits its own political and military interests. Otherwise, the United States would have imposed sanctions on Azerbaijan and Turkey long ago due to their multiple violations of the democratic rights of their own population as well as those of Artsakh Armenians.

Armenia does not need political propaganda from the West. Given the continuous attacks by Azerbaijan on Armenia, even while the Brussels conference was taking place, what Armenia needs the most right now are weapons to defend itself from its deadly enemies, Azerbaijan and Turkey. If and when we lose our homeland, it would be meaningless to have improved structures or democratic rule. With neither the East nor the West providing a security blanket for Armenia, President Ilham Aliyev is reassured that he can do as he pleases with Armenia with no one lifting a finger to protect it, except for handing a fistful of dollars and a lot of useless praise.

Harut Sassounian

Harut Sassounian

California Courier Editor
Harut Sassounian is the publisher of The California Courier, a weekly newspaper based in Glendale, Calif. He is the president of the Armenia Artsakh Fund, a non-profit organization that has donated to Armenia and Artsakh one billion dollars of humanitarian aid, mostly medicines, since 1989 (including its predecessor, the United Armenian Fund). He has been decorated by the presidents of Armenia and Artsakh and the heads of the Armenian Apostolic and Catholic churches. He is also the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.


  1. Its defenitely a good thing though to recieve the funding as it frees more funds to spend on the military. However armenia must take responsibility for its own future

  2. “If and when we lose Armenia” it will be direct result of the treacherous behaviour and actions of internal enemies who serve the interests of Russia. No one will even think of helping Armenia when Armenians themselves are destroying Armenia.

  3. May the elected leader of Armenia continue to live in his dream world…
    He and his friends are having sweet dreams, as if they were in Alice in Wonderland, not in Kafka.
    Following someone’s advice, he did not forget to establish a well-paid protection circle for himself and his surroundings.
    Just in case someone comes along and tries to wake up the great boy and disturb his peace…
    However, the defense budget should have been strengthened with that money…
    The duty given to Nikol boy is to fight if necessary to remove the Russians from Armenia…

    good boy pashinyan

  4. We are all driven by self interest, we are all subject to hope and naivety. One can’t exist without friends yes one can’t rely on them either. This also leads to misplaced faith in others as a saviour only to eventually find the bitter taste of disappointment. Becoming realistic about Russia should not mean becoming sentimental about any other country. Recent events have been a reality check. Russia was conceited to think that in letting Armenia down that it could still assume on their loyalty “they have got nowhere else to go” was a common sentiment in Russian actions, which are largely based on animosities and fears with Azerbaijan and Turkey. Armenia was naive to assume that as Russia only legal ally in the south Caucasus and being a powerful nation that it had its automatic backing and perhaps was a partial reason for not being prepared to make some compromises for a formal peace when in the advantageous position in 1994. The fact that Russia could in the confidence of Armenian loyalty and vulnerability, daliance with Azerbaijan and Turkey for its own interests and deem Armenia expendable was simply incomphensible and a naive presumption to many Armenians. Recent changes have led to an improvement in relations with Georgia but although resistant to Turkic pressures to take a strongly anti Armenia position, it refused to close its border with Armenia in solidarity with Azerbaijan in the first war had they done so Armenia would have lost, is clearly unwilling to jeopardize it’s relationships with Turkey and Azerbaijan for Armenias sake. Iran as an Islamic republic can only do so much for its Christian neighbour and cousin peoples and it’s contention with the west limits Armenian ability to draw closer without antagonising western nations such as France and USA who have become more supportive of Armenia lately. In turn under the Trump era Azerbaijan could ingratiate on the grounds that Armenia was Russia aligned and it’s own good relationship with Israel and the personal between Alyiev and Netanyahu. Nowadays it’s friendship agreement with Russia just before it invaded Ukraine the distrust the Biden government has towards Turkey and the poor personal relationship between Netanyahu and Biden and the cooler relationship between the USA and Israel from the extreme heights of the Trump era mean while in a more advantaged military situation politically are less comfortable internationally.

  5. The Russophobes on here need to be granted their wish.

    Russia marches out of its military base in Armenia and leaves Armenians in charge of Armenia.

    That’s what you want, isn’t it, eh, Russophobes?!

    Very well.

    Just remember that none of you ever get the right to complain when the Turks march in.

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