Shavarsh Kocharyan: Armenia will continue to cooperate with the EU as before

Hasmik Dilanyan

Armenia is ready to sign the Association Agreement with the European Union. Serious works have been done in that direction, Armenian Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan told reporters today.

He added, however, that the provisions of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement are becoming incompatible with the membership in the Customs Union, and the two cannot be combined.

Armenia has no shared border with any of the countries of the Customs Union. This was the main issues that raised heated discussions. According to Shavarsh Kocharyan, experts have found solutions that will cover the possible losses Armenia might incur by joining the Customs Union.

The Deputy Foreign Minister assured that the move was not a surprise to Europe, as it was well aware there could be such developments.

Armenia will continue to cooperate with the European Union as before with only one difference. “The Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area is now becoming incompatible with the Customs Union. We are ready to maintain all other programs with the EU, the format of cooperation is now being discussed. We’re willing to sign the Association Agreement and continue the implementation of reforms,” Kocharyan said.

Shavarsh Kicharyan said has not heard any strict assessment from the European Union on these days.

The Deputy Foreign Minister reiterated his opinion that countries “lose the opportunity of independent decision-making” to a certain extent by joining the Customs Union. This has been the case with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan and is connected with customs policy and tariffs. Shavarsh Kocharyan considers this is natural and added that this does not mean “complete loss of sovereignty.”

Nagorno Karabakh is the red line we’ll never cross, Kocharyan said and assured there could never be customs regime between Armenia and NKR.

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