Newsfeed

Court extends arrest of Analitik.am editor for 2 more months

The Olympic Games in Brazil, a country that welcomes the world with open arms Michel Temer Interim President of the Republic

Poll: Nikol Pashinyan and Zaruhi Postanjyan are the most opposition politicians

Areximbank-GPB Group and Ria Money Transfers halve commission fee for money transfers to Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova

Graduation certificates given to 1,500 students of French University in Armenia within15 years

Armenia improves its positions on US State Department's 2016 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report

Nagorno-Karabakh conflict negatively impacts cooperation of Armenia and Azerbaijan with NATO and enabling Russia's "management of instability" in the region

Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations: Over 100 trucks and 20 passenger cars still remain on Military- Georgian road

Views from Warsaw: "Enhancement of NATO presence on its Eastern flank is a part of further response to Russian aggression against Ukraine and hostile stance towards the Alliance"

James Walick says OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs looking to organize meeting of Armenian and Azerbaijani president soon

Yandex.Taxi launches activity in Armenia

Russian Emergency Situations Ministry's aircraft delivers 51 Armenian citizens trapped on Upper Lars checkpoint to Yerevan

OSCE CiO: "Germany and Azerbaijan share the view that the current status quo is unsustainable"

Forecast: Russia will always try to use Armenia as an important outpost in the South Caucasus

With Rostelecom assistance Yenokyan brothers from Vayots Dzor attended summer camp organized by Tumo

NKR Defense Army: Azerbaijan opened fire on civilians

Teghout CJSC to hold meetings on Teghout project on July 14

Yair Auron: Israeli Knesset will hold discussion on Armenian Genocide on July 5

Gagik Beglaryan considers that good roads will make Armenia attractive for Iranian business

Beeline Armenia holds a Digithon to reveal most promising and innovative solutions for development of the company

Armenian minister of transport and communication urges Yandex Taxi management to sign contracts with licensed drivers only

Armenia holds negotiations with Georgia and Russia for opening alternative road to Russia

Azerbaijani FM: Time has come to start serious work on settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict

Anelik Bank and Ria Money Transfers launch a joint campaign on July 1, with the fee for money transfers to Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova halved

NKR Prosecutor General's Office completes investigation of murders of Armenian servicemen during April war: ears and fingers of many of them were cut off by Azeris

Forecast: Russia would oppose any deeper cooperation of Armenia with NATO by putting pressure on government in Yerevan

John Evans: It is time for Artsakh to take its place directly at the table of negotiations

Alexander Lukashevich does not anticipate any breakthrough solutions in Karabakh peace process with Steinmeier's visit to region

Baku reacts to Frank-Walter Steinmeier's meeting with Bako Sahakyan

Frank-Walter Steinmeier visits Armenian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan

Nalbandian about Brexit: Armenia will continue efforts towards enhancement of cooperation with Great Britain

Armenia and Germany sign intergovernmental agreement to avoid double taxation

Armenian Emergency Ministry: Russian rescue plane transporting Armenian citizens from Upper Lars border crossing makes emergency landing in Mineralniye Vody

Ambassador Mills says fighting corruption is not just a point in the list of contemplated actions that can be marked as done

Nouvelles d`Armenie: French government presents text of draft law criminalizing denial of Armenian Genocide

Former US ambassador to be included in black list of Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry for his visit to Artsakh

Nalbandian: Issue of giving Nagorno-Karabakh a status of autonomy within Azerbaijan has not been discussed

Steinmeier: Status quo in Karaabkh settlement may lead to new outbreak of violence

Rostelecom discussed with Armenian radio companies possibilities of using modern technological solutions in radio broadcasting

Orientalist: German Bundestag's recognition of the Armenian Genocide is logical continuation of Pope Francis' statement during the mass in 2015

Seyran Ohanyan: Army leadership knows what and where to plan

MP: Ratification of agreement on Joint Air Defense will affect Armenia's independence

Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations to evacuate Armenian citizens trapped on Upper Lars checkpoint

Naira Zohrabyan. Joint Air Defense system will upgrade security of Armenia's airspace

Batu Kutelia: Warsaw Summit will give definite political and military answers to Russia’s attempted aggressive revisionism

Azerbaijani armed forces use DShK heavy machine gun on Line of Contact

Foreign Ministry: There are no citizens of Armenia among victims of explosion at Istanbul airport

Eduard Sharmazanov: Russia and Turkey will remain rivals and competitors

Zakharova about Karabakh peace process: There are issues that should be hushed up

Naira Zohrabyan to Serzh Sargsyan: Prosperous Armenia Party will win in upcoming parliamentary elections

Regional

MYTHS ABOUT THE ASSOCIATION AGREEMENT

  • by Yerevan press club

  • Thursday, July 17, 20:07

 

For about four years Armenia was engaged in negotiations around the Association Agreement with the European Union which can be considered as one of the most successful negotiation rounds in the history of the modern Armenian diplomacy. To a certain extent these negotiations contradict the generally accepted notion that EU maintains a harsh dialogue with all those seeking rapprochement with the European community. On most of the provisions that could potentially cause “discomfort” for Yerevan and create obstacles for the fulfillment of its obligations, the Armenian side managed to bargain fairly flexible formulations.

It is these sections of the Agreement which became the subject of the most active manipulation on part of opponents (explicit and implicit) of the Association Agreement. Notably, there were speculations that the new level of relations with the EU will restrain Armenia's cooperation with its strategic ally Russia. Artificial formulas of "either-or", "no-no", "and-and" were put into circulation for the purposes of propaganda. As a prove of the "either-or" principle, allegedly imposed by the European Union, the statements of some EU officials about the incompatibility of the Association Agreement and membership in the Customs Union (CU) were brought. And this interpretation from time to time was supported by representatives of RA authorities insisting that they have always been proponents of the "and-and" formula and that they were surprised with the announced incompatibility of the two integration projects. In fact, Armenian political elites and the media controlled by them were playing naive. In reality though, the Association Agreement with the EU, including the integration into the free trade zone, in no way restrained Yerevan from engaging in SYMETRIC integration schemes. Armenia could join other free trade zones, including conclusion of similar agreements with Russia and other former Soviet countries. In this regard, the Association Agreement allowed for the realization of the “and-and” formula at its best. Whereas the Customs Union prohibits engagement in other integration processes with its protectionist mechanisms, imposing the formula of “or-or” on its members.

Armenian community was forced upon the idea that, say, "it is impossible to be in one security system (meaning the membership of RA in the Collective Security Treaty Organization- Auth.), and be economically integrated into an alternative system at the same time." First, Armenia was not to be integrated into an “alternative” system; RA would retain the freedom to maintain relations similar to the scheme of EU’s economic relations with Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, as it is mentioned above. If the Association Agreement implied higher standards for the Armenian products bidding for free access to EU markets, other trade partners of Yerevan (same Moscow, Astana or Minsk) would only benefit from that. By the way, correspondent standards adopted by one of the founding countries of CU - Belarus, are now higher than in the whole Customs Union... Secondly, Turkey’s accession was seriously discussed in the framework of the Customs Union. President of Kazakhtan Nursultan Nazarbaev even made a formal proposal to Ankara. But how about Turkey’s membership in the political-military alliance of NATO?  Or maybe the officials in CU capitals are so naïve that they allow for the possibility of Turkey’s exit from NATO? All these arguments against the association with EU intended for duped audience do not deserve a name other than demagogy. 

Armenia’s membership in the CSTO was fundamentally considered in its variant of the Association Agreement with EU; this circumstance led to a much more modest section of the document pertaining  the partnership in the spheres of security than in case of the other three countries (Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine), which have views for the membership in NATO. The Agreement did not contain any prerequisites to review the contractual obligations of Yerevan with CSTO partners. Also, as appose to the other three countries, Armenia did not raise the issue of prospective EU membership and did not assume to make any changes in the bilateral relations with Russia or interactions within the CIS.  In other words, nobody would force Armenia to choose “EU or Russia” in case the agreement was signed. At least in case of Armenia, the assurances given by EU that the Eastern Partnership is not directed against Moscow’s interests and its relations with partner countries had a good reason. To suggest otherwise is tantamount to the view that socio-economic and political development of Armenia, as such, is already against Russian interests. If so, then the problem is not in the relations of Armenia with EU but rather with those who formulate and try to realize such “interests” of Moscow...

 Another myth regarding the Association Agreement has to do with one of the most sensitive issues for the public opinion in Armenia - the Mountainous Karabagh conflict. Opponents of the agreement were actively spreading false information that the text of the agreements contains a provision on the future status of MK unacceptable for the national interests of RA. It’s hard to say on who or what the authors of the misinformation were counting on because for any person even remotely familiar with resolution of the conflicts similar to Mountainous Karabagh, it’s obvious that the format and character of  negotiations around the Association Agreement excludes the very possibility of stipulation on MK status in that document. At the same time, as the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council of May 29 in Astana proved, real risks for the unrecognized republic rather exist in the framework of Customs (Eurasian) Union.

Even in a question of the future of Metsamor nuclear power plant where the position of the Armenian side is highly vulnerable given the security risks posed by the plant, the Association Agreement provided “softer” formulations compared to the preceding documents regulating EU-RA relations. In the Agreement the prospect of closing the nuclear power plant was directly linked to the issue of energy security of Armenia insured by alternative means. Now compare these approaches with “integration” process of Armenia in Eurasian Economic Union…

Send to a friend

To (e-mail)


Your name


Message


Comments

View comments (0)
  • READ ALL COMMENTS
  • POST A COMMENT

Be first to comment on this article

* Indicates required fields