October 18, 2013 - 19:00 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Members of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) are unaware what kind of document can be signed in Vilnius during the Eastern Partnership summit in November.
Commenting on the issue, Armenian parliament deputy speaker Eduard Sharmazanov said that the authorities are determined to continue cooperation with the European partners. “This is essential for both Armenia and Europe,” Armenia Today quoted him as saying. “As result of political reforms, Armenia has become more democratic and I believe that continuation of these reforms will secure greater freedom of speech and pluralism of opinions.”
Meanwhile, RPA MP Koryun Nahapetyan stated that Armenia will sign a certain document with the EU but refrained from providing any details. “Armenia is negotiating with the EU at various levels and it will apparently be a document confirming the results of these negotiations,” he presumed.
Armenia completed technical talks on a ‘deep and comprehensive free-trade agreement' (DCFTA) with the EU in July and it was set to be signed at the upcoming summit.
In addition to a free-trade deal, Armenia has been working towards the signing of an association agreement with the EU, a framework agreement on co-operation that is seen as a first step towards political integration with the EU.
However, during a Sept 3 meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Armenian leader Serzh Sargsyan said Armenia is ready to join Customs Union, with further plans to be involved in formation of the Eurasian Economic Union.
Mr. Putin supported the initiative, voicing readiness to assist Armenia in the process. He also noted that Russian Railways may invest 15 billion rubles in development of Armenia's railway network.
The Customs Union was formed in 2010 to include of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia; Kirghizia and Tajikistan later expressed willingness to join the Union.
Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt described Armenia’s intention as a U-turn in relations with the European Union. “Seems as if Armenia will break talks on free trade agreement with EU and integrate with Russia instead,” he said.