EU OFFICIAL: DONOR CONFERENCE AND PROSPECTS FOR ADDITIONAL WESTERN ASSISTANCE TO ARMENIA DEPEND ON A BETTER CONDUCT OF ELECTIONS AND IMPLEMENTATION OF OTHER POLITICAL REFORMS

arminfo
Friday, June 29, 13:00

ArmInfo. Yerevan should "address the shortcomings" reported by OSCE
observers before the Armenian presidential election due in February
next year, Peter Stano, Spokesperson of EU Enlargement Commissioner
Stefan Fule, told Radio Free Europe /Radio Liberty (RFE/RL).

According to Azatutyun.am, Stano told RFE/RL in Brussels that the
proper conduct of the presidential ballot will be essential for a
conference of Armenia's foreign donors planned by the EU. "Broadly
speaking, the donors' conference is about getting money for Armenia
to support it in its reform efforts, in whatever Armenia is doing :
in terms of modernizing the society and brining it up to democratic
standards," he said.

Stano first announced plans for such a conference late last year. He
told RFE/RL at the time that the EU plans to organize it after the
Armenian parliamentary elections.

Stano insisted on Thursday that the conference has not been delayed
until after the 2013 election because of irregularities reported by
European election observers last month.

The EU official also stressed that the donor conference and prospects
for additional Western assistance to Armenia depend not only on
a better conduct of elections but also the implementation of other
political reforms. In particular, he said, the authorities in Yerevan
should "ensure pluralism in the broadcast media," enact appropriate
amendments to an Armenian law on religion and step up the fight against
corruption. They should also intensify the pursuit of a compromise
solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, he said.

"Overall Armenia is making very good progress and keeping up this
progress would take us further in our relations," added Stano.

To recall, during a similar conference in Paris in 2011 Armenia
received loans and 620 mln USD assistance from international
organizations to reduce poverty.

To note, a separate statement issued by Armenian President Serzh
Sargsyan's office said European Union High Representative for Foreign
and Security Policy Catherine Ashton described the May 6 elections as
"the best ones held during Armenia's 20-year independence."