YEREVAN (A.W.)—According to Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Bureau member and director of its Central Hai Tad office Giro Manoyan, countries that signed an Association Agreement with the European Union (EU) without joining the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) will not gain the same advantages that Armenia will gain through signing a revised partnership deal with EU.
“The fact that Armenia will soon sign a new cooperation agreement with the EU, outlining, to an extent, trade and economic relations, demonstrates that our membership in the EEU does not hamper our plans to establish closer relations with the EU,” Manoyan said in an interview with Yerevan-based Tert.am on June 18.
Following two years of negotiations, the EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) was signed in Yerevan in March.
According to Manoyan, the Association Agreement, which the country did not conclude after the political decision to join the Russia-led bloc, could have become a reality if the EU had demonstrated the necessary willingness. “If the EU hadn’t adopted a rejectionist policy, behaving like an offended side, the negotiations would have developed. The EU cited Armenia’s EEU membership as an obstacle to signing the agreement. The more the West rejects us, the more Armenia will be under the Russian influence,” he added.
Manoyan continued to explain that the current deal is economically more advantageous for Armenia compared to the Association Agreement. He added that recently, foreign trade with the EEU member states has seen growth and the country’s time as a EEU member proved to be more beneficial compared to those countries that developed partnerships with the EU earlier.
Even this period of our EEU membership offered as more gains compared to the countries [which develop partnership] with the European Union. Apart from the visa regime, however, the negotiations with Armenia will eventually get under way,” he added.