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Prospects for Armenia's European Integration

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The event in Brussels on November 24, indeed, can be considered a turning point for further development of our country. The partnership agreement signed between the Republic of Armenia and the European Union gives a new direction to the RA foreign policy, making it more meaningful and versatile. At least, this is your first impression.

These days there is much talk about the document, it is discussed in various circles. There is no shortage of opinions, and now I would not want to go far beyond the details of the agreement. My goal is different. Try to analyze the prospects that can be opened in front of our country after signing this document, and which is of paramount importance, the interest of European Union. I think you agree that in the 21st century there is no altruistic motivation at the forefront of signing any intergovernmental agreement. It should be beneficial both sides, this is an axiom.

Anyway, the most pleasant achievement for Armenia is that first of all our state has good prospects for developing horizontal contacts with EU member states in political, economic and other spheres. I think that the establishment of partner relations on such a platform will create additional opportunities first of all to make the pro-Armenian approaches of the Artsakh issue more attractive for the European countries. This personally, I consider to be one of the most important results.

And, most of all, this document is about the improvement of the economic situation in Armenia, the promotion of human rights and the formation of civil society through legislative reforms, and the simplification of entry visas. By the way, in this regard, I have a question. Is it only for Armenian citizens? And if not, are we ready to welcome the potential boom of human flows from “new” German or French people to Armenia?

As for cooperation in other areas. Talking about the prospects of rapid development of Armenia’s economy as a result of it, I would also like to be very cautious. Let’s not forget that the majority of the EU countries are in a deep economic crisis and have serious problems in finding new markets for consumption. In that case, to what extent they will undertake steps aimed at the development of our country’s economy, I leave the reader’s analysis. Moreover, we do not speak about Ukraine as well as the example of Moldova, as well as Georgia, which is comparable to Armenia with many parameters and, first of all, comparable to the level of economic development and priorities. Forecasts about Moldovan or Georgian fruits and vegetables and wines to win the European market by blitzkrieg were, to put it mildly, exaggerated. And during the last Brussels meeting in Ukraine, they clearly explained that the next three trimmings, 600 million euros, would be made only after the Kiev-Brussels reforms and fulfillment of their commitments. In this regard it will be interesting to read the Agreement once again and find out, for example, the imperative nature of the closure of the Metsamor Nuclear Power Plant.

Perhaps there is one area where the expectations from us are certainly great. My point is about legal reforms. Today, we see what kind of pressure the liberal Europe has to put into the traditionally Armenia, to put it mildly, to adopt the laws that are not compatible with the Armenian type. Thinking that arbitrary or improper fulfillment of these or some other requirements will be an easy task, will be self-deception. Our reforms will be studied under a Brussels microscope.

And now about the most important thing. I do not want the impression that Armenia does not welcome the signing of this Agreement. Definitely no. Let me tell you more. I am confident that it is necessary to continue and expand the cooperation with both the European Union and the EAEU states, and first of all with Russia, in no case, these two vectors do not contradict each other.

True, these days, there are voices of disappointment and some in the comments of the friendly social and political figures from Russia. In particular, the director of the Middle East Institute, well-known political scientist and economist Yevgeny Satanovsky, underlining that he respects and admits this step of Armenia, it cannot be irritated by Russia in the cold war declared by the West. Here I agree with Mr. Satanovski. Let’s be frank. the removal of one of Russia’s closest allies in today’s geopolitical realities to some extent from the influence of its influence is already an important event for the West.

At the same time, let’s not forget that in 2013 both the European Union and the Russian Federation had a sharp “or-or” dilemma, but we did not retreat and at that moment we were guided by the priority of our own interests. A bit different, but essentially signing this document, once again, comes to confirm that Armenia did the right thing four years ago by taking a time-out and reassigning its tasks. As we have seen, this fact has been perceived by the European Union with respect and respect, and I am confident that today the adequate response from our Eurasian partners will be heard.

It is very important to understand that the only opportunity for Armenia to find its unique place in the globalized world day by day is a link between the two leading approaches to the future development of the world. Moreover, we are forbidden to bridge the Western and Eastern civilizations, which we bear at the same time for centuries. However, this is necessary for all possible legal means, including skilled diplomacy, to protect the interests of the nation and the state while at the same time bearing our commitments. This will also enable Armenia to reinforce and use its reputation properly in the future. Of course, the problem is very difficult, but not insolvable. I am confident that our ancient and clever nation has the necessary potential for carrying out such a responsible role over time.

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