Sarkisian Calls for Closer Ties with Europe

Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian speaks at a dinner meeting with Italian members of parliament. April 9, 2015. (Photo: official publication)

ROME (RFE/RL)—Armenia is seeking closer relations with the European Union because it is an integral part of European civilization, President Serzh Sarkisian said during an official visit to Italy late on Thursday.

Meeting with Italian parliamentarians in Rome, Sarkisian insisted that his country can combine those ties with its membership in the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).

“We are natural partners because our partnership is primarily based on values,” he said in a speech at the dinner meeting. “The Armenians and Armenian civilization are a part of European civilization, and our state is committed to furthering those values.”

Sarkisian stressed that among the member states of the EEU Armenia has adopted “standards closest to the EU.” Therefore, he said, “we could become a bridge for European countries, including Italy, to the 170 million-strong EEU market.”

Sarkisian unexpectedly decided to make Armenia part of Russia’s trade alliance with Kazakhstan and Belarus in 2013 after years of negotiations on a wide-ranging Association Agreement between Armenia and the EU. The agreement was cancelled as a result.

The Armenian government has since been trying to negotiate another, less ambitious accord with the EU. The two sides are expected to open official talks on it after next month’s EU summit in Latvia’s capital Riga. Armenian and EU officials have already identified concrete areas of closer cooperation to be covered by the new deal.

Sarkisian said that Yerevan and Brussels will work out a “new legal basis for Armenia-EU relations” in time for the Riga summit. He did not go into details.

Sarkisian discussed the issue with Italy’s President Sergio Mattarella at a meeting held earlier on Thursday.


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  1. State-Of-Emergency said:

    President Sarkisian knows very well that putting all our eggs in one basket and having the basket held by Russia is not the most prudent strategy. We must forge cooperation with time tested and proven democratic systems.

  2. State-Of-Emergency said:

    “Sarkisian unexpectedly decided to make Armenia part of Russia’s trade alliance…..”

    Merely under duress, blackmail and out right threats.

  3. Vahagn said:

    Sarkisyan… Europe… closer ties? Unimaginable! Anyway Europe has good experience dealing with slimeballs like Sarkisyan all over the world, for example – Aliev and Turkmen-Bashi. Good Luck!

  4. petrov said:

    Sarkisian wants closer ties with the EU, or is the EU that wants closer ties with Sarkisian ? Sarkisian is too wily and cunning , and he can handle all those corrupt operatives sitting in Brussels. EU cooperation will bring Armenia no material benefits, with the EU there is no cooperation , only bondage and subjugation, relinquishing of sovereignty and vassalage. Sarkissian knows this all too well……… if not just ask the Greeks for an inside view of the EU Gulag..