STRASBOURG — The legislative body of the European Union proposes to the executive power to consider the possibility of granting Armenia the status of a candidate for membership in the European Union.

“If Armenia is interested in obtaining candidate status and continues on the path of sustainable reforms that strengthen its democracy, it can be the basis for a phase of transformation in EU-Armenia relations,” said the resolution jointly presented by the deputies of the European Parliament, which was adopted this evening by 504 votes, with 4 against and 32 abstentions.

In the document, the European Parliament calls on the European Commission and the Council to actively support Armenia in expanding cooperation with the EU, not only in economic matters, but also in the fields of security, political dialogue, and people-to-people contacts.

The resolution, which is advisory in nature and does not have binding force, nevertheless became the first official response of the European Union to the recent statements from Yerevan about the desire to get closer to the European family.

The European Parliament calls on the leadership of the European Union to support Armenia through the European Peace Fund to expand its security area outside the CSTO and to counter hybrid threats.

“We are fully aware of the level and variety of threats that the Russian Federation may try to use against Armenia to punish it for its independent political and strategic choices. The European Union should be ready to provide quick assistance to Armenia to mitigate the negative consequences of any such unfriendly steps,” said the deputies of the European Union member states.

Last month, this resolution was preceded by a discussion in the European Parliament with the participation of MPs and EU officials. EU Commissioner for International Partnership Juta Urpilainen announced at that time that relations between Yerevan and Brussels have never been so strong.

“The decisions taken by Armenia in the past have led to political and economic difficulties and dependence in the security sphere, they cannot be overcome overnight. But the clear political will of both sides will provide an opportunity to move forward and deepen and expand our partnership,” said Juta Urpilainen.

The draft emphasizes that EU-Armenia relations are based on such common values as democracy, rule of law, human rights, and fundamental freedoms.

“The Republic of Armenia is ready to be as close to the European Union as the EU considers possible,” the resolution quotes the Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s address to the European Parliament on October 17, 2023.

The proposed resolution also refers to the events that took place in Nagorno-Karabakh in September of last year.

“On 19 September 2023, after a nine-month illegal blockade of the Lachin Corridor, disregarding its commitments included in the November 2020 ceasefire agreement and International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruling, Azerbaijan launched an offensive on the remaining parts of the Nagorno-Karabakh not already under its control; whereas more than 100,000 Armenians had to flee the territory, resulting in NagornoKarabakh being almost entirely deprived of its Armenian population, who had been living there for centuries,’’ the draft reads.

The resolution of the European Parliament also mentions the continuous threats of the Azerbaijani leadership against the territorial integrity of Armenia.

“The Azerbaijani army continues to occupy approximately 170 km2 of the sovereign territory of Armenia.”

 

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