Karabakh issue not an obstacle to Armenian-German cooperation: Ambassador

Liana Yeghiazaryan
Public Radio of Armenia

Although the European Union (EEU) is aware of the motives behind Armenia’s decision to shift to the Eurasian Economic Union, it’s still necessary to wait to see how EEU will work and whether it will come up to the expectations, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Germany to Armenia Reiner Morell said in an interview with Public Radio of Armenia.

To what extent will Armenia’s membership in the Eurasian Economic Union affect the cooperation with the EU in general and Germany, in particular? The Ambassador considers Armenia can no longer be as free in its “European decisions” as before, but says we should wait to see.

“It’s a difficult issue. The question refers to factors, which cannot be assessed beforehand. The EU is  aware that Armenia shifted towards the Eurasian Economic Union out of geopolitical considerations, also because of close historic ties with the region. We still have to wait to see how the Union will work. Armenia is now shaping a new legal framework. This is a transit period, where the old and new agreements are in force. There are definitely strongly positive aspects for Armenia, the most beneficial of which is relation to the Russian gas,” the German Ambassador said.

The factor of Nagorno Karabakh is often touched upon in the context of formation of the new Union. Could the cooperation within the framework of EEU lay the ground for peace and settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh issue? In response to the question, Ambassador Morell first hailed the Armenian German relations and noted that he sees unsolved political questions in the basis of economic issues related to Armenia. “In particular, this is the issue of Artsakh,” the diplomat said, adding that he does not view it as a factor hampering Armenian-German partnership.

German products easily reach Nagorno Karabakh, business recognizes no borders, Mr. Morell said. He added that we should consider the partnership on the “Armenian-German” level rather than differentiate between Armenia-Germany and Artsakh-Germany cooperation.

As for security guarantees to Artsakh after the formation of EEU, the Ambassador said: “The Union targets mostly economic issues, while the political ones are secondary. However, regional peace is on the agenda. The issue became more urgent after the intensification of border clashes in early August. We can say Moscow plays a decisive role in this regard. But I’m also confident that Azerbaijan came to understand after the August events that there can be no alternative to the peaceful settlement of the Karabakh issue.”

Speaking about the sanctions against Russia, the Ambassador said “they can be reconsidered if Russia resorts to more reasonable steps.” He said the crisis will not lead to a third world war and added that it should be solved exceptionally in a diplomatic way.

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