Benyamin Poghosyan, Rananjay Anand - Indian-Armenian Relations in 2024 | Ep 327 - May 2, 2024 [EP327]

Posted on Friday, May 3, 2024 | Category: India, Armenia, Relations, Politics | Series: cog



  • Impressions: Raisina 2024 Dialogue
  • Indian Community
  • Trade Opportunities
  • Defense & Security

Episode 327 | Recorded: April 26, 2024

Show Notes

Indian Armenian Relations in 2024

Over the past few years, the ties between India and Armenia have been steadily gaining momentum. In a significant move underscoring the importance of their bilateral relationship, India has signaled its plan to assign a defense attaché to its embassy in Armenia. This development highlights the deepening engagement between the two nations.

Notably, both of you Benyamin and Rananjay, participated in the RAISINA 2024 conference held in New Delhi two months ago, seemingly commemorating the strides made in their relations.


  • What are the major takeaways from this conference?

Rananjay, we first talked with you over two years ago, and even back then the community of Indians in Armenia numbered in the tens of thousands, especially Indian students studying in Armenia.


  • Can you give us a quick update on the status of the community in Armenia? Does the community exist because relations and opportunities are ramping up, or are relations ramping because there is a significant Indian community in Armenia?
  • Besides students, many of the Indian immigrants in Armenia seem to be focusing on low-skill labor such as delivery and construction. What can be done to drive more high-value migration? For instance, engineers, scientists and business men?


India is a rising superpower on the world stage and is aggressively pursuing influence and partnership around the globe. Besides Armenia, India is heavily investing in relations with African and East Asian countries, and even EU countries such as Poland.

With Armenia, India has certain affinities in industries such as trade, technology, defense and energy, as well as in geopolitical outlook. India’s appointment of a defense attache to its Armenian embassy emphasizes these synergies.


  • Benyamin, can you tell us how India’s North-South Trade Corridor incorporates Armenia in the route, and how it is coming along? What is going well, what is not?
  • What are the main areas of cooperation between Armenia and India?
  • From India’s perspective, is Armenia’s membership in the EAEU seen as a positive benefit? Or would it be preferable if Armenia were a member of a western economic group?

Today, Russia and Iran are aggressively partnering with Azerbaijan to build a reliable rail connection from Iran to Russia, the Astara-Rasht-Qazvin rail link. There is also already a rail connection between Astara and the black sea, through Georgia. Given the lack of rail in Armenia and the quality of highways, many experts see Armenia only as a backup to the corridor through Azerbaijan. On many maps of the INSTC corridor, the possibility of Armenia is not even shown!


  • How important is the Armenian route for India, Iran and other INSTC proponents, if there is a reliable connection via Azerbaijan? And what is being done by Armenia and India to improve this picture? Could India for instance provide financing to accelerate the construction of roads in Armenia?
  • Is a rail through Armenia even being considered as a future option for North-South trade?

Defense & Security

Trade relations often are fundamental to the national interests and security of a country. Implementation and security of the INSTC between India and Europe for example, defines relations with Iran, and the South Caucasus countries.


  • The key challenge in trading with Iran is the constant US and western sanctions on Iran. Can India help Armenia navigate through these relationships without damaging one or the other?

Rananjay, you said that India doesn’t view Azerbaijan as an enemy. Speaking in absolute terms, India’s trade with Azerbaijan is larger than with Armenia. Of course, this is not about pure numbers, but we know that Azerbaijan is very motivated to stop any kind of rearming of Armenia and Aliyev has singled out India already.


  • How does Azerbaijan factor in Armenian-Indian defense cooperation?
  • How vulnerable is India to Azerbaijani demands?

Political Cooperation

Armenia’s leadership is executing a significant pivot away from Russia in its fundamental political, economic and trade orientation. Armenia is still heavily reliant on Russia for over a third of its economy, nearly half of its exports, defense architecture and military procurement. This “pivot to the west” has been in full swing since the loss in the 2020 war in Artsakh, and has put Armenia’s national security at great risk.


  • How can India support Armenia, balance its relations with major powers, and reduce the risks to its security?
  • Are there other areas besides defense where Armenian-Indian relations can be relevant?
  • Would a shift to the east for Armenia, including membership in BRICS be considered a good move for Armenia?
    • Is such a “pivot to the east” likely, or possible? (with the current government?)


That’s our Week in Review, we hope you found it helpful. We invite your feedback and your suggestions, you can find us on most social media and podcast platforms.

Thanks to Laura Osborn for the music on our podcasts.


Benyamin Poghosyan

Benyamin Poghosyan

Dr. Benyamin Poghosyan is a senior fellow at APRI Armenia, a Yerevan based think tank,and the Chairman of the Center for Political and Economic Strategic Studies. He has served as the vice president for research and head of the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense Research University in Armenia. Dr. Poghosyan was a Distinguished Research Fellow at the US National Defense University College of International Security Affairs. He is a graduate from the US State Department Study of the US Institutes for Scholars 2012 Program on US National Security Policy Making. He holds a PhD in history and is a graduate from the 2006 Tavitian Program on International Relations at Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

Rananjay Anand

Rananjay Anand

Rananjay Anand is the Co-Founder & President of the Indo-Armenian Friendship NGO.


Hovik Manucharyan

Hovik Manucharyan

Hovik Manucharyan is an information security engineer who moved from Seattle to Armenia in 2022. He co-founded the ANN/Groong podcast in 2020 and has been a contributor to Groong News since the late 1990s.

Disclaimer: The views expressed by Hovik Manucharyan on the ANN/Groong podcast are his own and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of his employer or any other organization.

Asbed Bedrossian

Asbed Bedrossian

Asbed is founder of the Armenian News Network Groong and co-founder of the ANN/Groong podcast.

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