October 24, 2013 - 14:26 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The European Parliament adopted a resolution on strengthening ties with Eastern Partnership states. The resolution included a Karabakh-related motion, demonstrating one-sided, pro- Azerbaijani approach to the conflict.
According to the motion, "occupation by one country of the Eastern Partnership of the territory of another violates the fundamental principles and objectives of the Eastern Partnership. The conclusion of the EU Association Agreements with Armenia and Azerbaijan should be linked to progress towards the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions 822, 853, 874 and 884 of 1993 and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group Basic Principles, enshrined in the L’Aquila joint statement of 10 July 2009."
"The European Parliament reaffirms the need to strive for the regional stability and security that are necessary to achieve the goals of the Eastern Partnership, also in the context of further integration with the EU; urges further efforts to progress towards the resolution of the territorial conflicts in Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Moldova."
According to the resolution, “it is deplorable that the EaP harbours a number of unsettled territorial disputes, which should be resolved; whereas Parliament fully subscribes to the principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity and the right to self-determination of nations.”
The European Parliament further welcomed reforms and progress in Armenia, however noting certain shortcomings in promotion of democracy, including legal and judicial sectors, and anti-corruption measures. According to the document, EP regrets Armenia's decision to join the Russia-led Customs Union, reminding that the policy is incompatible with the Association Agreement. In conclusion, EP expressed hope for social, economic and political reforms to continue in Armenia.
The document, however, fails to note any of Azeri diversions and provocations, with Baku's constant ceasefire violations leading to deaths among servicemen and peaceful population. Nor does the document mention Baku's bellicose rhetoric and attempts to undermine the peaceful settlement of Karabakh conflict, while ignoring urges of the mediators and international community.
As Armenia Today reported, quoting Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan, "the Karabakh conflict-related motion contradicts the official position of the EU as well as the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs' stance."
"The motion authors must realize that though advisory in nature, the document can negatively affect the settlement progress, as well as mediatory efforts of the OSCE MG," Kocharyan noted.
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 a summit with the EU in late November. 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 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, vowing procedural assistance to Armenia.
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.
Linas Linkevicius, the Foreign Minister of Lithuania, which holds the rotating EU presidency, said Armenia “has blocked its chances of signing a free trade deal with the European Union by choosing to join the Russia-led union.” “We respect any choice of countries but they cannot enter both organizations at the same time because of different tariff requirements,” he said.
However, Armenian leadership continues expression intention to expand ties with the EU, which won't contradict Armenia's CU membership.
"Armenia will take part in the upcoming Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius and is ready to sign the Association Agreement," President Serzh Sargsyan said at the October 2 PACE session.
"No Armenia-EU document is being readied to be signed at a Vilnius summit," the spokesperson of the EU Commissioner Stefan Fule said. “We’re trying to find routes for further cooperation with Armenia, based on the existing achievements,” Peter Stano said.