Newsfeed

Levon Zurabyan: It is a Misfortune for Armenian Citizens to Have a parliament Speaker Like Galust Sahakyan

Central Bank of Armenia responds to criticism of those against toughening of the CBA's new requirement to commercial banks' minimum total capital

Orange introduces more convenient conditions for prepaid customers

Beeline Launched Services "Russian 20" and "Russian 35"

Eurovision-2015: Stefanie Topalian from Japan Has Become the 4th Member of the Band "Genealogy"

Paruyr Hayrikyan and Founding Parliament have disagreements

Attorney: Volodya Avetisyan is Determined to turn to the European Court of Human Rights

Brandy export from Armenia in 2014 down 1,2% thanks to devaluation of the Russian rouble

Armenians consume more vodka, overwhelmingly made in Russian

Zhirayr Sefilyan calls on Armenian public to stop paying fines for violation of traffic rules

Expert: The propaganda bluff cannot cast shadow upon the relations between the Jewish and Armenian peoples

Further cooperation of Armenian National Congress with Prosperous Armenia Party depends on the latter's plans: MP

Heritage Party leadership not to attend March 1 rally of Armenian National Congress

Congresswoman Judy Chu Commemorates Anti-Armenian Massacres

Another Armenian killed in shelling in Aleppo

South Dakota becomes the 43rd state to recognize the Armenian Genocide

Amnesty International says Armenia's law enforcement did not conduct effective investigation in Shant Haroutiunyan case

Activist faces indictment in Gyumri, Armenia

In 2015 Beeline intends to enlarge its customer base in Armenia by expanding the spectrum of its services and enhancing the service quality and price affordability

ISO/IEC 27001:2013 Information Security Management System implemented by VivaCell-MTS

"Ameria" Has Launched a Project for the Development of Small-Scale Gardening in Armenia

ACBA-Credit Agricole Bank expanding regional network with new branch

Expert: Armenia and EU not likely to sign any document at Riga Summit

Iraqi Airways to make first Baghdad-Yerevan-Erbil flight

Yerevan, February 26. ArmInfo. Marianna Mkrtchyan.ason Katz says United States supports Armenia to disadvantage of its allies Azerbaijan and Georgia

Another parliamentarian leaves Prosperous Armenia Party Faction

Ayb School and VivaCell-MTS have summed up the results of their cooperation

PSRC: Armenia negotiating with Russia to maintain gas tariff

Armenian Parliament Speaker gives one more chance to Gagik Tsarukyan

On the eve of spring, Orange presents new good surprises for internet and voice customers

Arthur Ashughyan: Future of lapidary industry depends on how competitive and efficient it is

Political expert: One should not expect serious internal political processes on Mar 1

Political expert: US State Department's calls to set free Azeri raiders will receive no response

Prosperous Armenia to convoke extraordinary congress on Mar 5

Cavusoglu: Armenia has failed test of sincerity

Parliamentary majority turn down the opposition's draft statement on crisis in governance

Richard Giragossian: The success of the talks with Brussels much depends on reliability and ability of the Armenian government

Baku may change its mind at the last moment and attend Euronest PA session in Yerevan, Armenian MP says

Ivica Dacic sees deterioration of situation in Karabakh and slackening of peace negotiations

Traian Hristea says 2015 will see new level of Armenia-EU cooperation

Avaz Hasanov: OSCE MG, Russia, EU, or U.S. can impose no pressure upon Armenia and Azerbaijan in the matter of Karabakh

Nikol Pashinyan demands that NKR authorities should punish the policemen who beat Founding Parliament's members

Ex-Prime Minister: Amid statements on SME development, decision to reduce number of banks in Armenia is sheer mockery

Ameriabank wins four nominations of Best Exchange Members of 2014 awards

Central Bank forecasts slowdown in salary growth rates in Armenia

UN Secretary-General and OSCE Chairman-in-Office Discussed the Situation in Nagorno Karabakh

Hot debates over ANC's project "On crisis in government system" in Armenian Parliament

Beeline announces the change of payment days for account charges and blocking of numbers for postpaid mobile subscribers

ACBA-Credit Agricole Bank increases the number of its offices

Prosperous Armenia Party prepares for extraordinary congress in early March and promises to make unexpected decisions

MYTHS ABOUT THE ASSOCIATION AGREEMENT

  • by Yerevan press club

  • Thursday, July 17, 15:07

 

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