Armenia to ratify new EU deal on April 11




The Armenian National Assembly today considered the ratification of the Armenia-RU Comprehensive and Enhanced Cooperation Agreement (CEPA) after it was approved by the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs on Monday.

Deputy Foreign Minister Garen Nazarian believes the agreement will drive the Armenia-EU economic and political relations to a higher level.

Asked about the possible closure of the Armenian Nuclear Power Plant, the Deputy Foreign Minister said “there is no such wording in the agreement.”

“In the energy sector, we have agreed with the European Union to cooperate on the basis of the principles of partnership, transparency and predictability. Among others, this cooperation should embrace the early adoption of a roadmap or an action plan for the safe decommissioning of the NPP. Therefore, the issue is about early roadmap adoption, not the closure of the power plant,” Nazarian said.

With regard to negotiations between the European Union and Azerbaijan, the Deputy Foreign Minister noted that “discussions are being held behind closed doors,” but voiced hope that the EU would maintain the common stance on conflict settlement.

“We know that the issue of conflict resolution is being considered within the framework of EU-Azerbaijan talks, just like it was the case with our agreement. We have brought the importance of maintaining a principled and common stance to our European colleagues,” Garen Nazarian said.

He noted that “it will help ensure the best course for the conflict settlement process,” and added that “we have received assurances that the declared approach will be maintained.”

The Deputy Ministersaid the lack of diplomatic relations between Armenia and Hungary should not hamper the ratification process. He said “there has been no reservation or delay in the process on the part of any country.”

The Agreement needs to be ratified by all 28 EU member states. Estonia is by now the only country to have done so. The Lithuanian government has okayed the ratification of CEPA and the Agreement has been forwarded to the Seimas for ratification.

Armenia is expected to ratify the new deal on April 11.

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