Non-Proliferation, Strategic Export Control and Nuclear Security
Armenia attaches great importance to the universal application and effective implementation of all treaties and regimes, dealing with non-proliferation of the weapons of mass destruction (WMD), considering them as instrumental mechanisms to prevent the proliferation of WMD.
There is a wide range of legal instruments to prevent the proliferation of WMD both on international and national levels. Thus, the pillars of this legislative framework are as follows:
“Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons” (NPT) - Armenia joined NPT on September 24, 1991. NPT entered into force for the Republic of Armenia in 1993. At the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference, Armenia supported indefinite extension of the Treaty.
“Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction” (CWC) entered into force for the Republic of Armenia on April 29, 1997.
“Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction” entered into force on June 7, 1994.
On October 1, 1996, the Republic of Armenia signed and on July 12, 2006, ratified “The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty” (CTBT).
The Republic of Armenia ratified the “Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material” on September 23, 1993. Armenia has also joined the 2005 Amendment to the Convention.
“Convention on Nuclear Safety” entered into force for Armenia on December 20, 1998.
“International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism” entered into force for Armenia on September 22, 2010.
On October 12, 2004, the Republic of Armenia signed the “Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation”.
The Republic of Armenia considers the UN SCR 1540 of April 28, 2004 as one of the pillars of the non-proliferation of WMD and the global security that reaffirmed the commitment of the international community to preserve the future generations from the threat of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and misuse of those weapons in the hands of terrorists. Since the adoption of the resolution, Armenia has undertaken several measures for its comprehensive implementation. Armenia, in particular, adopted and implemented the National Action Plan (NAP) for 2015-2020, which made it possible to review the already existing national measures and to implement new regulations and activities in nuclear, chemical and biological spheres as well as the export control and border security subjects.
International cooperation is of paramount importance for the non-proliferation of WMD. In this regard Armenia actively cooperates in bilateral format, particularly with the Russian Federation, the United States and the European Union, given the importance of further strengthening of Armenia's capacity building.
Armenia is also engaged in US Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) Program, EU P2P Export Control Program for dual use goods, which are designed to develop the enforcement skills of the relevant officials in their fight against the movement of weapons of mass destruction and dual-use products, as well as in the EU Centers of Excellence's chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) risk mitigation programs.
International Atomic Energy Agency
The safe use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes is a priority for the Republic of Armenia. Being a country with operating nuclear power plant, Armenia opted for a transparent and open policy for safe and peaceful uses of nuclear energy and in this regard, Armenia accepts the central role of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Armenia has been a member of the IAEA since 1993. “The Agreement between the Republic of Armenia and the International Atomic Energy Agency for the Application of Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement in connection with Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons” has been signed in the same year and the Protocol Additional to the Agreement was signed in 1997. Armenia has ratified the Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material and the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management. There is a close cooperation with the IAEA in those areas, and Armenia regularly submits its reports on national actions to the IAEA.
Since 1993, the Republic of Armenia has been receiving significant technical assistance within the framework of the Technical Cooperation Program of the IAEA. About 50 national programs have been implemented with the financial and professional support of the IAEA, which have enabled to increase the safety level of the Armenian NPP, the qualification of the personnel of the NPP and to prepare and train highly qualified specialists in the field of nuclear energy.
The Armenian NPP regularly accepts IAEA missions and the inspections carried out by them reaffirm the high level of safety of the plant. On the basis of the reports and recommendations of these missions, works to increase the security of the plant are also being carried out.
The regular visits of the Agency's general directors to Armenia testify to the high level of cooperation between Armenia and IAEA. Former Director General Yukiya Amano visited Armenia in 2012 and 2019. Director General of the Agency Rafael Mariano Grossi visited Armenia on October 4-5, 2022.
Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons
Armenia has signed the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) on March 19, 1993 and is a founding member of Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). In May, 1997 at the first Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention, Armenia reaffirmed its commitment to the non-proliferation and elimination of chemical weapons. Armenia underlines the key role that OPCW should play in advancing the provisions of the CWC.
In 2011, on the initiative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, by the decision of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, an Interagency Commission (National Authority) was set up to regulate and coordinate the implementation of the obligations under the CWC.
The representatives of various Armenian government agencies actively participate in the workshops, courses and meetings, organized by OPCW, which are of great importance for strengthening the country's capabilities in terms of non-proliferation, peaceful chemical industries, as well as national protection measures.
Biological Weapons Convention
“Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction” (Biological Weapons Convention-BWC) is one of the key elements of the international community's fight against the development, acquisition, illegal circulation or use of weapons of mass destruction, their means of transportation, materials, equipment and Technologies. Armenia has acceded to BWC on June 7, 1994.
Armenia provides annual national reports to the BWC Implementation Support Unit, which provides ongoing assistance to Member States in fulfilling their obligations under the Convention.
By the decision of the RA Prime Minister in 2018 a Working group on biosecurity and biosafety issues was established under the coordination of the RA Security Council.
Armenia is not a member of the international export control regimes: Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR), Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), Zangger Committee, the Australia Group, and the prime reason is that Armenia is not a major producer of dual-use items or military goods, materials and technologies, and the membership in the mentioned regimes may not be relevant to the economic profile of the country. However, Armenia is firmly committed to the goals and principles of these regimes.
Armenia pays great attention to increasing the efficiency of the national mechanisms for the control of dual-use goods. The domestic legal system includes the RA Criminal Code as well as the Law 42-N on “Export control of dual-use items and technologies and their transit across the territory of the Republic of Armenia” adopted on May 15, 2010. The law is aimed at ensuring the fulfillment of Armenia’s obligations under international agreements on the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of transportation, as well as in the field of export control. According to the law, the Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Armenia has been recognized as the authorized body in the sphere of export control of dual-use goods and technologies.
The list of dual-use items has been adopted by the Government Decree N 1785-N on December 15, 2011. The European Union’s Dual-Use Export Control list was taken as a basis for the national list and it is periodically being updated and brought to conformity with the EU list.
Government decree N 1308-N “On approving the list of military products, the procedures for licensing import, export, transit of military products, the brokerage in trade of these products, and the formats of the appropriate documents” was adopted on November 12, 2009. According to the Decree, the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Armenia has been recognized as the authorized body in the field of export control of the military products.