Matthew Bryza: Armenia's recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic to suspend Minsk process

Government to recompense for damage caused to residents of near border villages by bombardments

Tension on border with Azerbaijan becomes obstacle for WWF-Armenia activity

Nikol Pashinyan still expects Government to respond to Serzh Sargsyan's accusations against Gagik Tsarukyan

Serzh Sargsyan congratulates Vladimir Putin on his birthday

Forecast: Constitutional Reform - an opportunity for external forces to seize political space in Armenia

Expert: Energy sector of Armenia may face a collapse and another energy rate increase will not be the last

Yerevan to host Duduk Festival

Warlick: Obama Administration Supports Royce-Engel Proposals For Karabakh Peace

"No!" movement to hold a rally in Liberty Square on October 30

Prosperous Armenia Party to discuss its "disobedient " MPs at Political Council's upcoming session

Rostelecom provides services to New Wave International Song Contest

Viktor Soghomonyan: Eduard Sharmazanov comments on what Robert Kocharyan did not say

Rostelecom extends application deadline for "Thank You, Internet 2015" contest up to October 15

Eduard Sharmazanov to Robert Kocharyan: Who founded the evil system the second president is speaking about?

WWF: Small-scale HPPs in Armenia do not prove their worth

Robert Kocharyan: Constitutional reforms to have rather dangerous consequences for future of Armenia

Israeli expert: Tel Aviv always acts with due regard for its own interests

Israeli expert: Tension in Karabakh conflict zone to subside following parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan

RPA dissatisfied with OSCE Minsk Group's statements on Karabakh conflict

Levon Zurabyan urges Armenian President to put off constitutional reforms

As many as 18 protesters, including MP Aram Manukyan, detained

Parliament of Armenia passes draft amendments to Constitution of Armenia with 104 votes

Views from Moscow: Those who think Russia is interested in Karabakh conflict should "disappoint" Russia with mutual concessions and conflict settlement

Situation outside Armenian Parliament growing tense

Gianni Buquicchio says Constitutional amendments of Armenia drafted in line with Venice Commission recommendations

Edward Nalbandian: Karabakh conflict should be resolved within OSCE MG format

NKR Defense Ministry: Azerbaijan breached ceasefire for over 150 times over weekend

Kazakhstan's plenipotentiary at CSTO says Collective Peacekeeping Force exercises have demonstrated high training ratio of officers

Seyran Ohanyan: Tasks of The "Indestructible Brotherhood-2015" military exercise for the CSTO Collective Peacekeeping Forces successfully implemented


  • 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



View comments (0)

Be first to comment on this article

* Indicates required fields