"I am Hopeful The Entire Process of EU-Armenia Negotiations Will Rely On The Agreements Reached Previously" Deputy Foreign Minister
The new EU-Armenia cooperation document, which is to be negotiated and signed, should reflect the entire depth of our relations, Karen Nazaryan, a deputy foreign minister of Armenia said in an interview with Tert.am, commenting on the EU mandate to start a new round of talks with the country. Here is the full text of the interview.
After the failure to sign the Association Agreement with the EU, pro-Western [political] figures expressed the belief that the EU no longer considered Armenia a reliable partner. At present, however, the EU-Armenia relations are being upgraded to a new level. Why is the European Union still interested in Armenia?
The European Union has never made any statement or comment to express distrust in Armenia. On the contrary, it has stated repeatedly that they respect Armenia’s decision to join different integration processes and to become a member of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). That’s what also the head of the European Delegation to Armenia said recently.
As for the new legal document between Armenia and the European Union, the negotiations are due to start until the end of this year. Prior to that, the [sides] exchanged views to clarify the broad framework of issues to be incorporated into the new document. The exchange of views aims, on the one hand, to reveal the compatible elements in terms of future EU cooperation in different sectors and on the other hand - to consider Armenia’s commitments stemming from membership in the Eurasian Economic Union.
I am hopeful the negotiation process will be smooth. I am not sure about the timeframes to say how long they may be protracted, but I do want to be optimistic to think that they won’t take a long time.
The foreign minister of Luxemburg said recenlty that the new document would have a lower level than did the Association Agreement. What will differentiate the new legal frameworks from what we had in the previous deal?
The document which is to be negotiated should reflect the entire depth and essence of the Armenia-EU relations.
How deep is that cooperation expected to be?
It has been considered many times, also on top levels. We, in collaboration with our European partners, are committed to expand the cooperation and the political, deep and comprehensive relations in all possible sectors. The areas which will be compatible with Armenia’s international commitments will be reflected in the document.
In what areas is the cooperation likely to run counter to Armenia’s membership in the EEU? Up to what point we can deepen the relations to say that it is the limit?
I personally was involved in the exchange of views, which began last November and lasted about four months. And what we recorded the period was that there are many areas which are compatible and never run counter to our commitments to the EEU. I am hopeful the entire process will rely on the agreements reached previously.
Why do you think the EU revised the Eastern Partnership policy?
Yes, it has been quite a long time that the European Commission undertook revisions of the European policy. This process involves also Eastern Partnership [member] states. It is aimed at putting forward the priorities which will be reflected in the course of future cooperation. What has been and remains important for Armenia is the differentiated approach and, what’s even more, adherence to the more-for-more principle which enables Armenia to further deepen the reforms process. What I mean is reforms in the justice sector and human rights, strengthening of democracy etc.
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