Eastern Partnership Program not a failure, Poland’s Ambassador says

Lusine Vasilyan
Public Radio of Armenia

This year Poland celebrates the 10th anniversary of EU membership. Poland’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Armenia Zdislaw Raczynski told reporters in Yerevan that his country has become a full member of the EU. Speaking about EU’s relations with the countries of the region, the Ambassador said the Eastern Partnership Program has failed.

The Eastern Partnership Program suggested to six neighbor countries was an unprecedented ambitious proposal and did not pursue geopolitical changes, the Ambassador said. Each of the six countries made its own use from the program, proceeding from its internal demands and its own perception of deepening of relations with the EU.

“Three of the six countries – Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia – are ready to deepen the relations with the European Union, and part of the agreements has actually been implemented. The Eastern Partnership was a broad proposal for cooperation, which is still on the table. The opponents of the program are those, who wish to prevent Europe’s cooperation with eastern neighbors,” Mr. Raczynski said.

French President Francois Hollande declared in Yerevan a few days ago that the EU should work out special conditions of cooperation with Armenia, an association model that will not contradict the membership in the Customs Union. The Polish Ambassador agrees with the idea, but considers that the major question is to decide which is more important to Armenia – a signed document or its content and real association.

“Representatives of the Armenian government insist they will cooperate with the European Union in the fields that do not contradict the membership in the Customs Union. We support this position, but the problem is that Armenia is not a CU member at this point and cannot clarify which provisions of association are acceptable,” he added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin was the first to speak about the inconsistency between the two formats, the Ambassador said. He agrees there is contradiction, but it is only of economic and technical nature. As for the political aspect of cooperation, he reiterated that the Eastern Partnership does not pursue geopolitical changes.

Touching upon Ukrainian developments, the Polish Ambassador said: “The situation is a result of Ukraine’s willingness to move along the path of European integration with another country seeing danger here.” The Ambassador considers that Europe’s reaction to Ukraine events must be more decisive and united.

As for Armenia’s decision to join the Customs Union, Raczynski said: “We accept and respect Armenia’s choice and are confident it has been made as a result of a thorough analysis.”

“The decision to join this or that union is not an end in itself. It should serve the development of the country and the well-being of its citizens. Poland’s GDP has doubled after joining the EU,” the Ambassador said and wished the same to Armenia after joining the Customs Union.

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