Swiss Ambassador to Armenia Lukas Gasser: Switzerland will try to contribute to a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict without questioning the established formats such as the OSCE Minsk process
by Alexandr Avanesov
As it was expected, the first day of the Armenian parliament's session started from the stormy discussion of the problem of Armenia's joining the Customs Union.
A deputy from the Prosperous Armenia Party faction, Naira Zohrabyan, said Armenia's foreign minister should be summoned to the parliament, to provide the detailed information on the situation concerning the Armenia-EU Association Agreement and the ongoing processes regarding the Customs Union.
For his part, the opposition Armenian National Congress MP Nikol Pashinyan said that the country has found itself on the threshold of a geo-political crisis and has started the way as a result of which we shall lose sovereignty. He also added that Armenia has found itself in the situation when the president is forced to adopt spontaneous decisions, and foreign minister is running after the European functionaries. And in such conditions the law-making structure is practically isolated from all these processes, Pashinyan said and added that it is necessary to discuss the issue in the parliament.
NA Speaker Hovik Abrahamyan said the issue will be undoubtedly discussed in the parliament and representatives of Armenia's Foreign Ministry will be invited to give explanations. At the same time, he emphasized that the decision to join the Customs Union was discussed by the coalition forces - RPA and Orinats Yerkir party. "I am convinced that the decision to join the Customs Union is in the best interests of our state, our people, and I do not agree with the views that we are losing our sovereignty and independence. On the contrary, in this way, we are trying to solve the problems that our country faces,"- Abrahamyan said.
Pashinyan replied that nobody in the sitting hall has got the relevant information for such confidence. He said that the issue of joining the Customs Union is of a state significance, that's why, it should be discussed by the state structures. "Not the executive body of the RPA, but the parliament is a state structure", - he said and emphasized that the president always gains support of the coalition forces, as these forces always support the president without studying the details of any case.
Opposition Heritage Party NA Faction leader Ruben Hakobyan likewise proposed to call the FM to the parliament. He said that in fact the parliament remained aside from discussion of this fateful decision.
NA Speaker Hovik Abrahamyan said that the President of Armenia has the right to make decisions independently, and without consulting with the parliament. As for Armenia's joining the Customs Union, the parliament will be able to express its position only after submission of the relevant package of documents to the parliament for endorsement. That time, all the parliamentary forces will get an opportunity to express their points of view.
"But we do not want this package to be submitted", - former foreign minister of Armenia, Aleksandr Arzumanyan, said and added, as the issue is of a state significance, it is necessary to persuade the parliament that the decision adopted by the president is right.He did not rule out the necessity of a referendum holding on the issue. Anyway, before the negotiating process on the issue, it should be discussed and final general decision should be adopted, a member of the parliament thinks.