Lithuanian officials: Armenia-EU process relaunch may take years

Lithuanian officials: Armenia-EU process relaunch may take years

PanARMENIAN.Net - Representatives of the Lithuanian government warned against expectations for initialing any version of the Armenia-EU association agreement at a Vilnius Eastern Partnership summit next month.

A number of Lithuanian officials who asked to remain anonymous noted the initialling of the deal to be impossible for several reasons, one of them being time frame. With only several weeks left till the summit launch, introducing amendments to a several hundred pages-long document is impossible, the officials note. Also, the association agreement being viewed as a single document, a new mandate from the European Commission or EU member states is necessary to pick out and sign certain parts of the document. As the officials note, the process should be started over again with several months if not years necessary to complete it.

According them, disappointed over Armenia’s unexpected decision to join the Russia-led Customs Union, European officials aren’t motivated to alter the document before the start of the summit.

Lithuanian officials, however, show understanding for Armenian decision, explaining it by Russia’s pressure.

Lithuania's parliamentary vice-speaker Petras Austrevicius, by contrast, was harsh in his criticism of Armenia’s decision, noting that it came as an unpleasant surprise to Europeans, also violating the principles of transparency and consistency.

“By joining the Customs Union, Armenia will be missing on its chances for Eurointegration, also having lower status in EU partnership compared with Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia,” RFE/RL Armenian service quoted him as saying.

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Eastern Partnership

The Eastern Partnership (EaP) is the first comprehensive initiative introduced into the system of the European Union’s external relations, addressed to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The Eastern Partnership is designed to help the countries of Eastern Europe and South Caucasus with their approximation to and integration with the European Union. The EaP has injected a new quality into relations between the EU and the countries covered by the initiative through their gradual integration with the European Union.

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