September 13, 2013 - 18:36 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - No documents will be signed at the Vilnius-hosted Eastern Partnership summit with Armenia, EU Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy said.
As Stefan Fule told a news conference in Yerevan, “the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area Agreements (DCFTA) is an integral part of the Association Agreement and we cannot decouple the document.”
Commenting on the possibility of drafting another document envisaging a new format of Armenia-EU cooperation, Fule noted that’s it’s impossible to ready a major paper like that before the Vilnius summit due in November.
However, as he noted, EU does not refuse further cooperation with Yerevan, according to Novosti- Armenia.
Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian, in turn, noted that Armenia adheres to the EU cooperation policy aiming to continue partnership as long as it does not counter Armenia’s decision to join the Customs Union.
He thanked the EU for support in implementing a number of reforms in promoting the rule of law, human rights protection, improvement of electoral procedures and strengthening of civil society institutes.
The Foreign Minister also met with the Deputy Secretary General for the External Action Service (EAS) Helga Schmid, who also reiterated the EU adherence to continuing cooperation with Armenia.
The Armenia-EU ties have cooled down following President Sargsyan’s voicing Armenia’s readiness to join Customs Union, with further plans to be involved in formation of Eurasian Economic Union.
However, later the European Commission said that the Association Agreement (including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area) with Armenia can be compatible with economic cooperation with the members of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
When in St. Petersburg to attend the G20 summit, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said that Armenia, Moldova, and, if possible, Ukraine will hopefully sign the Association Agreement at the Vilnius Summit in November 2013.
“This is a political agreement. The Agreement would allow Armenia to go through comprehensive change both politically and economically. Therefore, after getting the news about Armenia’s plans of joining the Custom’s Union the EU expects to hear from Armenia what her further plans are. We have not received official explanations from Armenia, yet we don’t think this is a zero sum game and the same refers to Ukraine. Some benchmarks will be necessary to meet. There are some outstanding issues but we hope to see results in Vilnius. We are still engaged with these countries and still expect to sign the Association Agreements,” he said.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for Stefan Fule, the European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy, said that the European Parliament is not going to initialize either the Associated Agreement or the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area with Armenia, as it’s not compatible with membership in the Customs Union.