September 18, 2013 - 14:07 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The visit of Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian to Poland and seemingly protocolary reports of the two country's ministerial press services gave rise to harsh criticism of the Armenian official. The stir was caused by a small yet significant difference between the Armenian and Polish versions of press releases covering the meeting of Nalbandian with his Polish counterpart Radosław Sikorski.
Thus, according to the Armenian Foreign Ministry statement, prospects of further cooperation with the EU were discussed. As Nalbandian noted in this context, Armenia is ready to develop close ties with the EU "but not to the detriment and at the expense of our allied relations with Russia."
"This is the context Armenia's decision to join the Customs Union should be viewed in," Nalbandian said.
However, Polish Foreign Ministry's press service interpreted Nalbandian's statement in the following manner: "during his visit to Warsaw, Mr Edward Nalbandian noted that his country wants to deepen its cooperation with the EU as much as possible, but “it cannot be directed against Russian interests.” He added that Armenia and Russia are bound by a military alliance and a privileged economic cooperation, especially concerning energy, which justifies the declaration made in Moscow by Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan on Armenia's accession to the Russia-Kazakhstan-Belarus Customs Union."
However, the Polish Foreign Ministry website soon posted a corrected version of the statement: " Nalbandian noted that his country wants to deepen its cooperation with the EU as much as possible, but "it cannot be at the expense of our allied relations with Russia"."
What is it exactly that Nalbandian said in Warsaw? Was it that the EU-Armenian ties should not be developed at the expense of relations with Russia? Or was it that Russia will be the one to dictate the level of Armenia's cooperation with the EU? What is that the two ministries' press services failed to agree about in when readying statements?
Those questions will probably never be answered.