On February 27, after the meeting with Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, in Brussels, Serj Sargsyan stated that the negotiations on Armenia-EU new framework agreement were completed.
Hovhannes Igityan, Former Chairman of the Standing Committee on Foreign Relations of the National Assembly, said that the negotiations over this agreement lasted for 4 years for two reasons.
“First, it was really a shock for RA Government when Armenia suspended all the work carried out with EU in 2013. Second, Russia, as well as Armenia, did not know what Customs Union is which later turned into EAEU. Armenia always tried to make relations with EU without harming EAEU and that was the reason no one knew how deep the new agreement should be in order not to overlap with the new commitments,” Igityan said.
He said that Armenia was establishing a partnership agreement with EU.
“EU says Armenia is my partner, by the way, China, Azerbaijan, and Syria are also its partners. The emphasis is put on the anti-corruption system, energy though I can’t imagine how they are going to collaborate in this field when 90% of energy belongs to Russia,” Igityan said.
Ashot Yeghiazaryan, Candidate of “Free Democrats” Party, Economist, said that the document with its 4 chapters (1. Political dialogue and reforms, 2. Domestic justice, 3. Trade and investments, 4. Field cooperation) is a comprehensive document.
“Judging from the chapters, the document is close to the Association agreement. What concerns the limitations of EAEU tariffs, “Trade and Investments” chapter states about creating a basis for future compliance, harmonizing and turning into a deep and comprehensive agreement principles,” Yeghiazaryan said.
He notes that the adoption of the new Customs Code of the Eurasian Economic Union is anticipated for the summer, which involves a lot of risks.
“ The signing of the agreement will be just suicide for Armenia, and will also create problems with the World Trade Organization,” Yeghiazaryan said.
He states that EU did not abandon Armenia: “EU considers us a part of the political, economic, cultural space. In this regard, there are good prospects for Armenia. The signing of the document will enable Armenia to strengthen its sovereignty, to enhance the security.”
Sergey Minasyan, Political Scientist, Deputy Director of the Caucasus Institute, said that this document is the “lights” option of the Association agreement in some sense.
“This document will only positively contribute to Armenia-EU cooperation and has a very big, important political significance for further institutional cooperation. After signing this agreement, another process is maturing, it is the process of visa liberalization, around which there are already some positive messages from Brussels,” Minasyan added.
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Lilit Arakelyan, editor/events coordinator at “Media Center”
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