Nuclear Security in the EU’s vicinity: Challenges of the Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant

Armenia’s aging Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant continues to pose a serious challenge to regional security. The decommissioning of Metsamor was included in both the 2006 European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) Action Plan and the 2017 Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA). Despite this, the European Union has thus far been unable to produce either the requisite material incentives or political pressure points to compel Yerevan to take action. This paper analyzes the ways in which the EU’s previous experience using conditionality on nuclear issues with the Central and Eastern European countries can provide valuable insights on the lack of EU leverage over Armenia in this regard. One of the key findings is that more substantial “carrots” are needed for a policy change in this field. These incentives include deeper integration perspectives or commitment to major investments in Armenia’s nuclear sector. The research also underlines the importance of changing the regional constraints on Armenia’s energy options.

Authors: Licínia Simão