EUROPEAN UNION OR EURASIAN UNION: ARMENIA'S EX-PREMIER SPEAKS OF ARMENIA'S PROSPECTS

http://www.tert.am/en/news/2013/07/30/hrant-bagratyan-interview/
16:20 30.07.13

On July 24, Armenia and the European Union (EU) successfully completed
the negotiations over a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area
Agreement (DCFTA), which is integral part of an Association Agreement.

What may be the result of deepening Armenia-EU ties and will Armenia
prefer joining the EU or the nascent Eurasian Union? Tert.am talked to
Armenia's ex-premier, an Armenian National Congress (ANC) parliamentary
group member Hrant Bagratyan.

- Mr Bagratyan, has not Armenia made one more step toward the EU?

- No, it is not so. Nothing has so far been talked about the
EU. The EU seeks to sign free trade agreements with all the countries,
which are more or less acceptable economic systems.

- What is your attitude to the fact that the Association
Agreement is not being published and the public is hardly fully
informed of what it is?

- I am against that. I participated in the negotiations within
Euronest and I think that such a document must be put to a referendum.

- The European Union or the nascent Eurasian Union - which of
them should Armenia join?

- During the presidential election I introduced a concept - not
only an economic, but also a foreign policy one. The idea was putting
such significant issues to a referendum rather than being governed by
an individual's opinion. My personal opinion is that I would consider
treacherous some people's statements that Armenia should sever ties
with Russia or secede from the Commonwealth of Independent States
(CIS). On the other hand, I do not see any acceptable conditions in
the context of the Eurasian Union. Such a union does not exist. We do
not know if it is good or bad. So we should not speak of preferring
between the EU and the Eurasian Union.

We are a sovereign state and have the right to conclude a free trade
agreement with European countries, which does not interfere with our
relations with Russia.

- So you are disposed to the "both...and" option.

- There will not be a "both...and" option. One day it will
deepen and they will run counter to each other and we must realize
it. At present, we have not reached the point of "both...and" or
"either...or".

In any case, the norms I read in Brussels late this May did not
interfere with anything.

- Should Armenia-EU relations deepen, won't Russia resort
to pressure?

- I do not think so. Russia is changing as well and has decided
to integrate with Europe as soon as possible. We should take a broader
view of the problems - how the processes develop in Armenia-EU and
Russia-EU relations.

Armenian News - Tert.am



From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress