Stefan Fule: “We cannot decouple the Association Agreement” - Mediamax.am

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Stefan Fule: “We cannot decouple the Association Agreement”

European Commissioner Stefan Fule
European Commissioner Stefan Fule

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Exclusive interview of EU Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fule to Mediamax

 

Informal meetings of Foreign Ministers of the Eastern Partnership countries will be held in Yerevan on September 12-13. On the eve of the meeting Mediamax talked to EU Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fule.

 

- Was the EU informed in advance that Armenia is considering the option of joining the Customs Union? In particular, have you discussed this possibility with the Armenian leaders during your recent visit to Yerevan?

 

- The EU was directly informed of the development only on 31 August. It was not part of the discussions when I last visited Yerevan in July.

 

- Is it possible that EU and Armenia can still initial the political part of the Association Agreement (without DCFTA) during the Vilnius Summit?

 

- It has been the EU's consistent position that the political association and economic integration must go hand in hand and that they are integral parts of the Association Agreement. We cannot therefore decouple those two essential building blocks of the Agreement.

 

-  Some commentators say that during past months Armenia was under strong pressure from Russia but EU did nothing to support Armenia unlike Ukraine’s case.

 

- We respect the sovereign right of our partners to choose freely what integration framework or cooperation frameworks they would like to pursue. At the same time, we regret those Russian statements and pressure that have been applied recently towards some of its neighbours, trying to unduly influence these countries' decisions as regards the AA/DCFTAs. We have supported and will support our partners to make a choice of their own.

 

- One of the key factors that influenced Armenian President’s decision was the security issue - unresolved NK conflict and unsettled Turkish-Armenian relations keep Armenia very dependant on Russia. And it seems that EU can’t be an alternative for Armenia from security point of view. What is your position?

 

- The EU actively supports the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs to facilitate the resolution of the conflict around Nagorno-Karabakh. The EU supports the normalisation process between Armenia and Turkey without preconditions.

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