Armenia Time Zone UTC+04:00

 Capital City Yerevan

Currency Armenian Dram

National Day  September 21,

His Excellency Mr Varuzhan Nersesyan
Embassy of the Republic of Armenia
25A Cheniston Gardens
London W8 6TG
T: 020 7938 5435
F: 020 7938 2595

Armenia’s new Ambassador His Excellency Varuzhan Nersesyan arrived on 29 August after completing his mission as Ambassador in Washington DC. “I am delighted to have this opportunity to represent Armenia in the UK.” He’s here with his wife Narine, and their three children who are already in school and adapting well to London life. “It’s the kindness and warm hospitality of London’s people that has struck me so far.”

Growing up in Soviet Armenia, Ambassador Nersesyan’s father played an important role in forming his world view. “A patriotic man, he was well-educated in international relations, and inspired me to read newspapers, in Armenian and Russian and later English, when I could find them. My father always wanted me to become a civil servant and serve Armenia. I hope I’ve made him proud.”

During the difficult post-Soviet years, Ambassador Nersesyan studied in the new faculty of International Relations at Yerevan State University. His curiosity about diplomacy drove him to enter his country’s new foreign service in 1997. The early years of his career focused on multilateral diplomacy: the OSCE and European Union. He was soon appointed Deputy Chief of Mission of Armenia’s Permanent Representative to the OSCE. He recalls, “Vienna was important in shaping my diplomatic career, as I worked with my mentor, Ambassador  Jivan Tabibian.” He continues, “The OSCE is a consensus driven organisation, so I learned the art of achieving a compromised solution.” On his return to capital, he continued to work with security issues as Director of the Conventional Arms Control Division in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, followed by a position as Head of the OSCE Division. The Ambassador’s career then took a different turn when he was seconded to the Parliament, as Director for international relations, “a good opportunity to learn about Parliamentary diplomacy.”

After a role as Deputy Ambassador in the US, he became Assistant to Armenia’s President for international relations also covering the national security council for Armenia. This coincided with Armenia’s Velvet Revolution, “otherwise known as Armenia’s democratic development that took place in 2018. Boris Johnson’s congratulatory letter to the President recognised Armenia’s democratic progress. Armenia made a huge leap towards democracy and the fight against corruption, which was recognised by the West to such an extent, that The Economist announced Armenia as the 2018 Country of the Year.” His role also involved assisting with the smooth and stable transition of the regime. “I presented all major issues in Armenia’s foreign policy to the newly elected leadership, before being despatched to Washington DC.”

In November 2018 his “interesting, but challenging period” as Armenia’s Ambassador to the United States began. “We managed to elevate inter-governmental dialogue to the level of Strategic Dialogue between the two countries.” He was also instrumental in “achieving historic recognition of the Armenian Genocide, first by the US House of the Representatives, and secondly by the Senate. Then came President Biden’s historic recognition on 24 April this year, which was also hugely important for our people. It sends a powerful message that these types of crimes are inadmissible, and is a message of prevention of future genocides.”

Ambassador Nersesyan comes to the UK with a full agenda, starting with an “intention to work with the British government to develop more structured and focused bilateral relations. With or without Brexit, this relationship is based on shared values and the shared vision of a commitment to democracy and human rights. Furthermore,” he continues, he would like “to expand mutual visits, develop trade and economic relations, widen cultural diplomacy, and make Armenia and Armenian culture more visible here in London. We hope to attract investment from the City of London, as we have plenty of potential in the IT and agriculture sectors. We are interested to open low cost, direct flights between Yerevan and London. There is plenty to do, but I’m pleased that the British Ambassador in Yerevan John Gallagher is similarly enthusiastic for the tasks at hand.”

On COP26, he notes that “Armenia is ready to participate and do its part. The world is interconnected, and all future generations will be affected if we do not take concerted global action on climate.”

The Ambassador is clear that Armenia’s greatest diplomatic challenge “is the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. We have just had the first anniversary (27 September) of the start of the joint Turkish and Azerbaijan aggression towards Nagorno Karabakh. A combined population of 100 million people, conducting a war against 140,000 people living on their ancestral land meant that Armenia had no choice but to defend Nagorno Karabakh. After the ceasefire on 9 November mediated by Russia, Azerbaijan continues attacks and provocation not only over Nagorno Karabakh, but also against Armenia’s borders. The most existential threat is the unresolved status of the Nagorno Karabakh. We are working with the international community and the OSCE on this issue and hope it will be possible to reach a lasting solution that respects the interests of all sides.”


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