The Trilateral Partnership Between France, India, and Armenia: A New Chapter in International Relations

The recent arms purchase contracts between Armenia and France, as well as Armenia and India, have sparked a wave of geopolitical discussions and raised pertinent questions regarding the evolving dynamics of international security. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan's rationale behind these agreements, citing the imperative need to fortify Armenia's national security, has drawn contrasting views from Azerbaijan, which perceives this move as exacerbating the arms race in the South Caucasus region.

Feb 26, 2024 - 15:41
Feb 26, 2024 - 15:47
The Trilateral Partnership Between France, India, and Armenia: A New Chapter in International Relations

By: A. Mahdavi 


This strategic pivot by Armenia signifies a significant departure from its longstanding reliance on Russia for foreign and defense policies. Simultaneously, Armenia underscores the importance of international dialogue in the post-war reconstruction efforts in the war-torn region of Karabakh. The burgeoning tripartite collaboration among France, Armenia, and India, driven by the shifting paradigms of the global order, presents a contentious subject that warrants meticulous examination.


 The Ascending Synergies of France and India


The recent visit of President Macron as the chief guest of India's Republic Day celebrations unveiled a comprehensive "Defense Industry Roadmap," accentuating the ethos of "joint design and joint development" in military weaponry production. The strategic accords between the two nations extend beyond defense to encompass space cooperation, with a mutual commitment to co-produce defense assets like helicopters and submarines for the Indian military and allied nations.


Central to this partnership is the Indo-Pacific strategy, where both nations acknowledge the significance of fostering an inclusive, free, and open regional environment. France's endorsement of India's permanent membership in the United Nations Security Council underscores a deep-seated mutual trust and strategic alignment between the two nations.


The focal point of this burgeoning alliance lies in augmenting space capabilities and technological advancements, encompassing critical domains such as cybersecurity. The holistic nature of this collaboration is epitomized by their shared vision for space exploration, calling for joint space missions and satellite data exchange. The recent 2021 agreement on bolstering military capabilities and France's aid in modernizing the Indian armed forces underscores the steadfast commitment to fortifying defense capabilities.


Furthermore, the collaborative efforts between India and France extend to climate change mitigation and sustainable energy initiatives, exemplified by the Indo-Pacific Ocean Initiative. This holistic approach to security, encompassing energy and environmental dimensions, underscores a shared perspective on security that transcends traditional paradigms, epitomizing a profound and multifaceted cooperation aligning with the national security objectives of both nations.


The trilateral cooperation framework between France, India, and the UAE sets a precedent for potential replication with Armenia, paving the way for a novel strategic trilateral axis that aligns with their common national security imperatives and bolsters their strategic objectives on the global stage.


 France and Armenia: Deepening Comprehensive Relations


The recent arms agreement between France and Armenia signifies a paradigm shift towards enhanced military and strategic collaboration, ushering in a new era of bilateral relations. With provisions for the delivery of Mistral anti-aircraft missiles and Thales GM 200 radar systems, France's commitment to bolstering Armenia's defense capabilities, particularly in air defense, in response to regional exigencies in the South Caucasus is palpable.


This burgeoning partnership signifies an escalation in bilateral interactions, portending significant implications for the future trajectory of events in the South Caucasus region. Additionally, France and Armenia are poised to deepen ties across diverse economic and cultural spheres, with initiatives spanning national and grassroots levels, potentially serving as a blueprint for multilateral cooperation within the European Union.


 Defense Cooperation Between India and Armenia


The burgeoning alliance between Armenia and India has witnessed a substantial diversification and expansion across economic, technological, and defense realms. Noteworthy is the pivotal role of the defense industry in this multifaceted partnership, with India emerging as a prominent arms supplier to Armenia, signifying a pivotal juncture in bilateral relations. Armenia's strategic shift towards diversifying its defense procurement, historically reliant on Russia, is underscored by its procurement of India's Swathi weapon tracking radar system and advanced MArG 155 cannons, complemented by a $250 million contract for Pinaka rocket launchers and anti-tank ammunition.


In the realm of innovation and digital technology, the bilateral ties between India and Armenia have made significant strides, as evidenced by the memorandum of understanding between their respective ministries, underscoring a shared commitment to technological advancement and digital transformation.


Economic interactions between the two nations have witnessed an uptick, with Armenia expressing interest in integrating its payment systems with India's Unified Payments Interface, auguring well for facilitating financial transactions amid a burgeoning Indian workforce presence in Armenia.


The Tripartite Partnership: A Nexus of Strategic Cooperation


The trilateral nexus among France, India, and Armenia serves as a testament to the shared security concerns and economic aspirations that bind these nations during a transitional phase in the international system. The confluence of their economic objectives not only augurs well for their individual growth trajectories but also holds promise for fostering conducive economic conditions amidst a global economic downturn.


By integrating into a broader security framework, Armenia stands to enhance its maneuverability in the unfolding dynamics of the South Caucasus, while India and France emerge as pivotal players in the realm of security. This strategic partnership epitomizes the evolving contours of international engagements, signaling a shift towards a multipolar order and extensive collaboration across diverse nations, with a collective resolve to uphold their positions in this evolutionary milieu.


The trilateral partnership embodies a collaborative synergy between nations with diverse backgrounds and aspirations, holding the potential to reshape regional and global geopolitics, fostering a more equitable world order. As these nations embark on this journey of strategic alignment and cooperation, the ramifications of their collaborative endeavors are poised to reverberate across the international landscape, heralding a new chapter in international relations marked by mutual trust, shared security imperatives, and collective progress.