CU membership does not mean suspension of relations with the EU: President

Karen Ghazaryan
Public Radio of Armenia

“Armenia and France are tied by centuries-old friendship, culture and economic cooperation, which form the basis for today’s relations,” Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said at a joint press conference with visiting French President Francois Hollande. He added that Armenia’s decision to join the Customs Union was not strange to anyone.

“The economic inter-connection is on a high level today. Besides, we have a bilateral treaty of friendship with Russia, we are in the same security system, the Customs Union provides certain advantages to the member states. For example, it enables to import energy carriers to Armenia at competitive prices, to have competitive goods. This was  the motive of our decision,” President Sargsyan said.

He added, however, that the membership in the Customs Union does not mean suspension of relations with the EU. “On the contrary, we have talked to Mr. Hollande that it would be desirable if the EU offered a special association with Armenia. Therefore, we’ll continue to deepen the relations with the EU, because there relations not only provide an opportunity to return to our roots, but also give a chance to implement rapid reforms in our country,” he said.

French President Francois Hollande said, in turn, that Armenia’s position is a result of unique geopolitical conditions and there is no reason to condemn the decision.

Mr. Hollande said he would like to see Armenia completely associated with the EU and pledged to do his best for Armenia’s unique situation to be better apprehensible to Europe.

According to Hollande, the EU should understand that Armenia lives in exceptional conditions and continue the measures of rapprochement.

”France will support Armenia in its relations with the European Union,” the French President assured.

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