VILNIUS — The European Union and the Republic of Armenia have adopted a joint statement as a result of the EU Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, in which they said that they have completed negotiations on an Association Agreement, including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, but will not proceed with its initialing due to “Armenia’s new international commitments.” Yerevan and Brussels have also agreed on the need “to update the EU-Armenia ENP Action Plan.”
“The EU and Armenia enjoy close links and reconfirm their commitment to further develop and strengthen comprehensive cooperation in all areas of mutual interest within the Eastern Partnership framework,” the statement published by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia reads.
“Based on common values, both sides are committed to further cooperation aimed at the continuous improvement of democratic institutions and judiciary, the promotion of human rights and rule of law, good governance, the fight against corruption, the strengthening the civil society, the further improvement of the framework for enhanced trade and investments, the continued implementation of the mobility partnership and increased sectoral cooperation.
“Based on their common endeavour to build upon the existing framework of cooperation, the EU and Armenia stress the importance of revisiting the basis for their relations.”
Armenia views the EU summit as an important stage in the development of its relations with the 28-nation bloc “on a more streamlined and realistic foundations”, President Serzh Sarkisian said addressing the delegates to the high-level event on Friday.
In his speech the Armenian leader said it is in this context that Armenia reads the final document of the summit and the Armenia-EU Union Joint Statement adopted in the Lithuanian capital.
Armenia had been on course to initial an Association Agreement with the EU at the current summit but in September it decided not to go ahead, preferring to join the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. Despite the apparent U-turn the Armenian government has reaffirmed its commitment to continuing political cooperation with the EU to the extent that does not hamper its membership in the Russian-led trade bloc.