September 3 2013

In the opinion of the head of "Heritage" faction Rubik Hakobyan,
if the issue of recognizing the independence of Artsakh is not
solved positively, we should not hurry to sign the EU Association
Agreement or join the Customs Union. - Mr. Hakobyan, although the
text of the Association Agreement with the European Union has not
yet been made public, however, already heated debates have begun
around initialing of the agreement. What is the position you have? -
As long as the text of the EU's Association Agreement was not been
made public, I do not think that expressing the final position is
true. Armenia faces a very responsible choice, on the one hand, the
time for signing the EU Association Agreement, on the other hand,
the issue of joining the Customs Union. Of course, in both cases,
the economic component is very obvious, but these two documents are
of political paramount importance, and the two sides are perfectly
aware of it. The West understands that by the integration of Armenia
to the European structures, the most important issue is resolved,
the economic and political influence of Russia is substantially
weakening in the region. Finally, Armenia is viewed as the RF's main
ally in the South Caucasus. And the matters with Georgia and Azerbaijan
would be more easily resolved in the future in consideration of not
only friendly relations of these two countries with Russia. RF also
acknowledges that integration of its main ally to Western structures
will significantly weaken its influence in the South Caucasus, also in
consideration of not smooth relations between Georgia and Azerbaijan.

Consequently, Armenia's joining to any of the geopolitical power
centers has a very high price for the sides. - In this case, in your
opinion, what priorities should Armenia be guided in the selection
process. - Look, the majority of EU countries has recognized Kosovo's
independence, but their position to Artsakh is mainly pro-Azerbaijan.

And this is in the case when the Nagorno Karabakh Republic as an
administrative independent unit is much more established than Kosovo.

It is undeniable that dual standard is obvious. The picture is the
same in the case of RF. Russia has recognized the independence of
Abkhazia and South Ossetia, despite clearly knowing that the Nagorno
Karabakh Republic as an independent state unit in all respects does
not yield those two republics, if not more. I think it should be
an important orientation for us as to who is willing to recognize
Karabakh's independence. - And, otherwise ... - I do not know whether
our representatives have discussed this issue during the negotiations
or not, but I think that the issue of recognizing the independence of
Karabakh, with its political weight, is equivalent to that signature.

If this issue is not resolved positively, I think we should not rush
to sign anything.

Nelly Grigoryan

Read more at: http://en.aravot.am/2013/09/03/156267/

From: A. Papazian