February 26, 2014 - 19:18 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Armenia is ready to continue active cooperation with the EU, with the long-term action program confirmed by the National Security Council, the NSC Secretary stated, adding that Yerevan’s intention to join the Russia-led Customs Union won’t impede development of ties with the EU.
According to Artur Baghdasayan, the 160-step action program stipulates for implementation of reforms in political, legal, humanitarian, healthcare and other sectors, with Europe to assist in their fulfillment. As he noted, in December 2013, Euro 30 and 40 million were pledged in anti-corruption and public sector development funding.
Armenia completed technical talks on a ‘deep and comprehensive free-trade agreement' (DCFTA) with the EU in July 2013 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.
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.
Baghdasaryan further spoke of the intention of the non-governing forces to initiate a vote of no confidence in the government. Though expressing understanding for the initiative, the NSC Secretary believes the it will fail, considering the balance of political forces in the parliament.
The issue has been discussed by 4 non-governing parliamentary factions: ARFD, Prosperouos Armenia, Armenian Natinal Congress and Heritage, with no consensus reached so far.
As Baghdasaryan also noted, Yerevan supports development of military component of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) as crucial to Armenia.
He went on to remind of a number of the CSTO cooperation-related agreements including provision of modern weaponry to the Collective Rapid Reaction Force (CRRF) units as well as regular military exercises. “We’re actively working to create unified CSTO aviation forces and air defense systems, with the effectiveness of the initiative crucial to Armenia’s security,” he concluded.