France backs closer Armenia-EU ties, Russia hails fast-paced CU accession

France backs closer Armenia-EU ties, Russia hails fast-paced CU accession

PanARMENIAN.Net - Paris is well aware of Armenia's intention to establish closer ties with the EU, and should take better efforts to promote it, French envoy Henri Reynaud said.

As the ambassador noted during discussions titled Armenia's Way to Europe: Obstacles and Possibilities, "despite President Serzh Sargsyan's decision to join the Russia-led Customs Union, cooperation with the EU remains a priority on Armenia's agenda, as reasserted at the November 2013 Vilnius summit."

According to the envoy, Armenia and EU resolved to revise the principles of cooperation to provide better interaction. "We have a lot to do, but it’s necessary in order to give a new impetus to Armenia's ties with the EU," the envoy concluded, according to Armenia Today.

Russian ambassador Ivan Volynkin, in turn, added that the procedure of Armenia's accession to the Customs Union is moving fast, due to the country’s experts, well skilled in the legal details of the process, Novosti-Armenia said.

As he further noted, "those suggesting that Armenia's political course was changed on September 3 are mistaken. Yerevan's policy line hasn't changed, with Armenia always aiming to perpetuate ties with Russia. President Sargsyan's statement on joining the Eurasian integration processes was crucial in further stimulating Armenia's development."

As Volynkin stated, in conclusion, any political cooperation must be supported with economic one.

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, vowing procedural assistance to Armenia.

A draft resolution on Armenia’s accession to the Customs Union and unified economic zone was approved at the Minsk-hosted Supreme Eurasian Economic Council meeting Dec 24.

On Jan 23, Armenian government has approved the list of measures for joining the Customs Union.

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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