“On the Threshold of Signing the Armenia-EU Framework Agreement: Comments from Chisinau and Tbilisi.”
Armenia will sooner or later sign a new framework agreement with the European Union, even if the signing does not take place at the Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels scheduled for November 24.

Stepan Grigoryan, Director of the Center for Globalization and Regional Cooperation, said this during the discussion entitled “On the Threshold of Signing the Armenia-EU Framework Agreement: Comments from Chisinau and Tbilisi” held at Media Center on November 22.

Signing of the Armenia-EU Comprehensive and Extended Partnership Agreement is scheduled for November 24, 2011 in Brussels. As experts say, the signing can be hindered by the final Declaration on the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict at the Eastern Partnership summit.

The point is that the official Yerevan and Baku have not yet reached agreement on the conflict, and the remaining text of the document is agreed. Edward Nalbandyan, Armenian Foreign Minister, also spoke about the problem, noting that the negotiations are ongoing.

At the same time he underlines that the position of the European Union on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has always been the same as in support of the efforts and approaches of the Co-Chair countries. The point is the final declaration of the summit, which has no legal force, but has a great political significance.

In Stepan Grigoryan's opinion, the disagreements over the declaration will not hinder the RA and the EU to sign a new agreement. “The declaration can be signed with a reservation or express a special opinion and not to dispute from the EU agreement. It must be understood that the declaration has no legal force and it can change after two years, and the agreement with the EU is another weight category and is a permanent document,” Grigoryan said.

Stepan Safaryan, Head of “The Armenian Institute of International and Security Affairs” (AIISA), thinks that it is no accident that the Armenian side attaches importance to the provisions on the Nagorno-Karabakh issue in the Eastern Partnership Declaration as they can be perceived as “a war reference” in Baku.

Responding to the ambitions of the Azerbaijani side and the fact that there are no clarifications on the formulation of the Karabakh conflict on the Armenian-EU agreement, Safaryan said that the differences are maintained. "There is a well-known EU approach that the regulation of the conflict is connected with the Minsk Group. I do not think the case will reach Azerbaijan's veto, but even under these circumstances it is not known what the compromise will be,” he said.

Judging by the political significance of the agreement, Safaryan said that Azerbaijan wants to seize a war reference from the EU. “The problem is that Azerbaijan needs a reference for war. The question is whether Europe will give this reference to Azerbaijan, to Aliyev personally,” the expert said.

Gela Vasadze, a political analyst from Tbilisi participating via video call, expressed conviction that Armenia will sign a new agreement with the EU in Brussels and external factors will not play an obstacle this time, unlike 2013. At that time, the president of Armenia announced a surprise to many in Moscow that Armenia refused from the Association Agreement with the EU, giving preference to the EAEU.

During the discussion from Chisinau, through video call, political analyst Dan Marin mentioned the reasons that have played a role in Moldova to reduce public mood after signing an agreement with the EU. This problem led to the victory of the pro-Russian Igor Dodon in the presidential elections.

"The reason was corruption scandals and it was. It turned out that about $ 1 billion was stolen from the banking system. The citizens should pay that billions not the officials who stole the money. And that factor badly affected the relations with the EU,” he said, adding that "Eurasian future "is not expected for Moldova.

To watch the video, follow the link.  

Arshaluys Mghdesyan, editor/events coordinator at “Media Center”

To contact the author please send an email to arshaluysmghdesyan@pjc.am.

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