A brother of President Serzh Sarkisian holding a senior diplomatic post on Thursday expressed confidence that Armenia and the European Union will sign a “document” on their continued cooperation at next month’s EU summit in Vilnius.
But Levon Sarkisian would not say whether it will be a watered-down version of the Association Agreement or a mere joint declaration. “A document will be signed [in Vilnius] and you will see,” he told reporters.
Officials from the European Commission and some EU member states have made clear that the Association Agreement is no longer on the table because of Armenia’s recent decision to join a Russian-led customs union. Some of them have also indicated that a non-binding statement by the two sides is also unlikely to be issued in the Lithuanian capital.
President Sarkisian is widely expected to attend the summit scheduled for November 28-29. He was on course to initial the historic association accord with the EU until announcing on September 3 his decision to make Armenia part of the customs union.
Levon Sarkisian, who is a senior professor at Yerevan State University and an Armenian ambassador-at-large, defended his brother’s controversial choice and said he was not surprised by it. “I didn’t know about it [beforehand,]” he said. “I just thought this is what is going to happen because I don’t think that we have the right to change our security system so quickly.”
Serzh Sarkisian has similarly has attributed his about-face to national security considerations. He has said that Armenia could not have stayed away from the Russian-led trade bloc if it was to maintain close military ties with Russia.