Completed Armenia-EU talks does not mean initialing or signing agreement at once – Armenian MP

12:12 • 30.01.17



It is natural that some issue may remain unagreed on at the current stage of the Armenia-EU talks, Artak Zakaryan, Chairman of the Standing Committee on Foreign Relations, Parliament of Armenia, said in an interview with Tert.am. The sides are making efforts to agree on the issues in question, which implies different approaches to political, economic and legal issues.

Mr Zakaryan, Ambassador Piotr Świtalski, Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, has voiced hope that a new Armenia-EU framework agreement will be signed this year. Do you share his opinion?

Although the National Assembly is not involved in the talks on a new framework agreement between Armenia and the European Union (EU), government agencies inform us of the process on a regular basis, of the final stage of the talks. The sides are negotiating the political, sectoral and trade sections. Appreciable progress has been recorded in all the three areas.

Could the agreement be signed before the parliamentary elections scheduled for April 2 or after that?

Completed talks does not at all mean initialing or signing the agreement at once. It requires the sides following internal procedures. The negotiators have not set a deadline. Both are making efforts to finalize the process as soon as possible. I am not saying anything about a deadline, but I can assume this year may see it.

Ambassador Piotr Świtalski said that agreeing on a number of issues required time. Which issues have the side not yet agreed on? What prevents its signing tomorrow, for example?

It is natural that some issue may remain unagreed on at the current stage of the Armenia-EU talks, Artak Zakaryan, Chairman of the Standing Committee on Foreign Relations, Parliament of Armenia, said in an interview with Tert.am. The sides are making efforts to agree on the issues in question, which implies different approaches to political, economic and legal issues. I thing the differences will eventually be settled, and the sides will move forward to a declaration. This process requires centralization, and I would not like to say anything more now. I think we have to create favorable conditions for the negotiators instead of making various comments that would prove additional pressure on them.

Could the coming elections affect the Armenia-EU talks? Ambassador Piotr Świtalski said that they would if they fail to be free and transparent elections. What is the reason for such an early statement? It appears to be an ultimatum.

I have not seen his statement and I would not like to comment. However, it can say I consider this pessimistic question problematic, namely, that unfree and unfair elections could affect the Armenia-EU relations. Armenia’s authorities are supposed to hold the elections in conformity with democratic principles, and a relevant historic (4+4+4) agreement was reached. It also enabled our partners, particularly, the EU, to be more active in ensuring transparent election processes.

The previous period saw tremendous work to build up and expand Armenia’s relations with the EU, and I would not like to speak of any negative effects on Armenia-EU relations.

The coming parliamentary elections are first of all our domestic affair, and we, as a political force, within our powers and commitments, will spare no effort for it to be in conformity with democratic principles and requirement of our laws. Armenia has never been behind democratic standards and our international partners have never called out our elections into question, in contrast to some of the post-Soviet states. In the coming elections we are going to record progress, with our new Constitution and laws.

Tigranuhi Martirosyan





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