EU's anti-Russian agreement enters into force

EU's anti-Russian agreement enters into force

The EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement entered into force today, the European Commission press service said.

The agreement covers political, trade and other sectorial issues, from the environment to procurement procedures, reflecting the fact that relations between the European Union and Armenia are comprehensive and that there is significant potential for enhanced cooperation. 

"The agreement is designed to bring tangible benefits to the citizens of the European Union and Armenia. This will be done, for example, through strengthening cooperation on security matters, improving the investment climate, and stimulating growth and jobs. As of today, the majority of the agreement will apply provisionally," the statement reads.

The agreement provides the framework in which to have a regular political dialogue, to work on issues related to domestic reform, to cooperate in areas such as transport, energy, banking and financial services. 

The parts of the agreement related to trade will also apply as of today. 

The agreement has already been ratified by Armenia. It will enter into force once the process of ratification by the Member States and the procedure for conclusion by the EU is completed. 

The agreement was signed by Armenia and all EU member states on 24 November 2017 in Brussels by the Armenian foreign minister Edward Nalbandian and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini.

Former head of the Central Bank of Armenia Bagrat Asatryan, speaking with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza earlier, noted that the agreement with the EU will not significantly affect lives of Armenian citizens. "This agreement is more about alternative ways of developing the country's relations with the whole world. In the situation when Armenia participates in the EEU together with Russia, which has faced so many sanctions, we can also have significant losses and problems. This is an opportunity to maintain more or less normal relations with Western countries and follow the same course that Armenia has been following recently," he said.

Associate Professor of the Department of International Security of the Faculty of World Politics of Moscow State University, Alexey Fenenko, in turn, stressed most probable impact of Armenia's greater focus on the West, explaining why Russia is better then the European Union for Armenia. "Russia is close to Armenia, and the European Union is far away from it. Armenia's goods transit mainly through the Russian territory, not through any other, currently, Russia is the key market for Armenian goods. In the area of security, Russia provides guarantees to Armenia, it was once again confirmed at the CSTO summit in Yerevan last year. If Armenia focuses on the West, it may lose it. Although so far the Armenian leadership used this association agreement only as a bargain in relations with Russia, if they reach a serious level in this issue, it can blow up the whole strategic situation in the region," the expert warned.