At the beginning of the press conference, the EU Ambassador says that due to the joint efforts, the provisions of the agreement will be successfully implemented. He underlines that the EU in general encourage and support but never impose anything.
“On this wonderful note of a new chapter of cooperation, we can say that we are committed to do more. I think that both sides signed this agreement to implement it in good spirit. To talk today about sanctions, about failures I don’t find frankly appropriate because I am quite optimistic that this agreement indeed will bring new quality in our relations. And as you can recall, I am consistently optimistic. This is a cooperative endeavor and we will succeed, I am confident,” EU Ambassador said.
Referring to the financial support provided by the European Union to Armenia, Piotr Switalski said that till 2020 within single support framework the overall contribution will be 170 million Euros.
“I hope that we will be able to use them really effective. We should think together with the government, with all our partners to make the maximum use of the financial allocations,” the Ambassador said underlining that EU is the biggest export market for Armenia.
Switalski also adds that the European Union is the biggest donor for Armenia. In the period when some other donors cut down their assistance to Armenia, we announce the increase 20-25%.
“It is a signal that we believe that this money can serve its purpose well in Armenia, because we believe that Armenia has the necessary absorption capacity, it has the talented people who can benefit the money,” Piotr Switalski said.
EU Ambassador also referred to visa liberalization process, noting that the position of the European Union is clear: there are certain conditions which have to be met.
“The adoption of the decision to move to visa liberalization dialogue will happen in due time. I am optimistic and I will repeat my words of encouragement to our Armenian partners to continue the work. Visa liberalization is not a right, it is a privilege. The European citizens should know that the countries aspiring for visa liberalization have the European vocation, they believe in Europe and they want to be treated as legitimate Europeans, they want to live by European standards and norms and they think European. This is the essential message which should be coming from you- from Armenians,” Piotr Switalski said.
He emphasizes that it is not a simple process; it has to do with legal and administrative requirements.
“What I think is good is that the visa liberalization dialogue with Armenia is put in the context of 20 deliverables for 2020. But there is no specific date mentioned. If the necessary conditions are fulfilled, if all the necessary elements are in place, and all EU member states are convinced that this is the right time, it will happen. Nobody will delay it for artificial reasons for sure, it is not in our interests,” Piotr Switalski, Ambassador, Head of EU Delegation to Armenia, said at Media Center.
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Lilit Arakelyan, editor/events coordinator at “Media Center”
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