"No Such Pressure Was Used By Russia Towards
Armenia"
Interviewer Nelly Grigoryan, "Aravot" daily
en.aravot.am - 26/10/2015
Chairman of the NA Foreign Relations Committee, Republican MP Samvel Farmanyan
about the prospects of Armenia-EU relations
- The European Commission has received a mandate to negotiate with Armenia.
Given the experience of previous negotiations failure, do the RA
authorities now have a clear vision of the process of the negotiations and
the outcomes? Were debates held in the ruling Republican Party on this
matter?
– The approach of the government authorities on Armenia-EU future relations
and Armenia’s European agenda are very clear and were repeatedly stated,
here, it is difficult to say anything new. Armenia as a source of European
civilization, as a bearer of European culture and as a country with a
European perspective, considers the further deepening of relations with the
EU as an important priority and is ready to deepen these relations, also
taking into account the international commitments that our country has
undertaken. To put is more simply, we are interested in having a
comprehensive partnership in all possible spheres, where there are mutual
benefit and interest, the basis of which should underlie in the new legalcontractual document formed as a results of negotiations. Fortunately, due
to Armenia’s accession to the Eurasian Union, once the existing
misunderstood wall is already destroyed, and the parties are approaching
the new phase of talks with serious expectations and positive sentiments.
– You are the Head of the Armenian delegation to the Armenia-EU
Parliamentary Cooperation Committee. At this stage, which should, in your
opinion, be the priorities for Armenia-EU cooperation? There is a view that
the political element of the Association Agreement can be immediately
presented for signing. Is it a realistic approach?
– The point that the political element of negotiated document, if not
completely, then largely, will find a place in the negotiated agreement I
have no doubt. There might be cosmetic changes, which is understandable,
however, this one is not an Association Agreement. I consider cooperation
in all the spheres important that will help Armenia to build a European
future. By saying a European future, I mean such a state which with its
public living quality, the degree of welfare, institutions, and the rules
of the game is close and similar to the requirements for the EU member
states.
In the upcoming negotiation process, one of the most important factors is
that in the current geopolitical realities, three of the six Eastern
Partnership countries have signed the Association Agreement, while the
remaining three – not. But these three countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, and
Belarus, have different levels of relationships and expectations from the
EU. Fortunately, the Riga Summit reported the need for running a
differentiated policy, a circumstance that has always been raised by the
Yerevan officials. Therefore, I expect that the elaborated new legalcontractual basis will stem from the logic of differentiated policy, which
automatically will lead to a new quality level of parliamentary
cooperation.
– How do you visualize the EU-RA economic cooperation, as it is clear that
there can be no word about the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area in
new agreement?
– The economic cooperation with the EU is one of the most important
sectors. It is natural that to expect what previously was available is
objectively impossible. But the EU has different instruments for economic
cooperation with its partners. The sentiments of the Armenian side are to
have the maximum economic cooperation based on the reality that we are a
member of the Eurasian Economic Union, and also from the fact that Turkey,
as a state within the same customs territory with the EU, continues keeping
the border with Armenia illegally closed.
– The EU-Armenia previous talks lasted enough long. What is the mode of the
new talks?
– I do not think it will last very long. The previously negotiated text
will be very helpful for the two negotiating teams in that respect. Let us
not forget that at the end of the previous phase of the negotiation, the EU
and Armenia had already officially ratified their common approaches on many
issues with their signatures.
– In the last few days, the European Parliament’s representatives were in
Armenia. They also had concerns about the fact that Armenia will again
impose to pressure by Russia. Are the lessons learned from the past? What
are the guarantees that Russia’s “jealousy” will not reach the peak again?
– No such pressure was imposed on Armenia by Russia. Never. The problem is
that each state is guided by its own interests, and to accuse the United
States, Russia, Armenia, Sweden or Japan to be guided by their own
interests is nonsense. Armenia has been honest in its objectives when
running an EU Association Agreement talks, and when deciding on the
membership to the EaEU. In its decision, Armenia has put solely its own
country interests and nothing else. Do not be surprised, but now, when the
Ukrainian events are in the past, and after that, by large, an application
for the formation of a new world is presented and a cold war is underway,
very few people in Armenian political field still continue disputing the
righteousness of the President Sargsyan’s decision. Today, too, Armenia is
honest in its statements and objective to elaborate a new legal-contractual
base with the EU. Armenia stems solely from its personal interests and
makes decisions solely in this context. In addition, let’s not forget that
the agreement operating for sixteen years is outdated as a document and
needs revision.
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Ar43- `No Such Pressure Was Used By Russia Towards Armenia`