How Armenia managed to join EAEU without breaking up with EU

_ Serzh Sargsyan, President of the Republic of Armenia. Munich, 17 February 2018.

The foreign policy pursued by Armenia provides opportunities for a simultaneous cooperation both with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and the European Union (EU).

Armenia is constantly striving to cooperate with the forces that have already achieved great success in modernization and can contribute to development of the country. This policy facilitates Armenia’s cooperation with both the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and the European Union (EU). Modernization is an ongoing process which enables to keep up with the times.

We are conducting negotiations on establishing a new transit corridor between the Black Sea and the Persian Gulf. The corridor will pass through the territory of Armenia. We are negotiating with all interested parties. I hope that in case of success, the circle of its beneficiaries will be wider than the list of countries involved in the negotiation process. I think that the cooperation of the EAEU member states and the EU, in both bilateral and multilateral formats, is in line with our common interests and contributes to economic progress.

Again I would like to name the reasons for Armenia’s joining the EAEU and dispell andy further doubts that Yerevan’s decision was a result of external pressure. Armenia joined the EAEU with a clear understanding that this will support development of the economy, the future of the country. And the expectations were justified The Eurasian vector did not hamper Yerevan’s cooperation with Brussels, especially in the areas of institutional reforms and modernization.

The cooperation with the European Union has risen to a new level after signing the Agreement on a Comprehensive and Expanded Partnership in November 2017 in Brussels. At the same time, in 2013, it was not Armenia who refused to sign the Association Agreement with the EU; the process was broken down due to the tough position of Brussels.

When we started negotiations with the EU, our Russian partners, our allies knew about it. At the same time, our European colleagues were aware that we were negotiating to join the Eurasian Economic Union, the then Customs Union (Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus). We saw such an opportunity. However, when the “and-and” principle was replaced by the “or-or” principle, we could not sign such an agreement.


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