“We do not have much to discuss with Turkey today,” Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said in an interview with Argentine media. “We have long discussed the two protocols, but the Turkish Parliament has not yet ratified them. So, what should we talk about?,” he said.
Sargsyan received Telam and two other Argentine media in a Buenos Aires hotel after a long day that included a ceremony at the Palacio San Martín with Vice President Amado Boudou, and several government ministers, and a meeting with the mayor of Buenos Aires, Mauricio Macri.
Relaxed, no suit and tie and with a gentle and unalterable tone of voice, the Armenian President does not reflect the image of the “military hero” many of his countrymen know. More than two decades ago, Sargsyan was one of the military leaders in the war against Azerbaijan. That conflict ended with the creation of a pro-Armenian internationally unrecognized republic, which, according to Sargsyan, was a springboard for raising the defense and security level of Armenia.
“Away from the drama of war and categorical forms of military life, the 60-year-old leader, who has been holding presidency of his country for six years, avoids resonant statements,” the article reads.
The President argues again and again that they do not choose either Russia or Europe. “We chose the two,” he said. Sargsyan said that he would not “reduce or sever the relationship with the European Union,” but made a decision to join the Customs Union “by simple economic calculation.”
“For decades we have had a strong relationship with Russia and we can not drop it,” the President said.
He explained that it is impossible for Armenia to export agricultural and other products to the EU it now exports to Russia at a competitive price.
He added, his country is dependent on Russia and Iran in energy and gas, and Moscow offers a 30% discount to members of the Customs Union.
The article notes that Armenia’s shared border with Turkey in the west has been closed for more than two decades, and the same is with the Azerbaijani border.
The country has open borders with Iran and Georgia, a country that has already bid to join the NATO military alliance, which recently signed a Free Trade Agreement with the European bloc and proceeds to enter the EU as a full member.
“We’ll continue the negotiations with the EU in a way that will not interfere with our integration with the Customs Union,” the President said, reaffirming his moderate spirit.