The government remains “very determined” to sign later this year an agreement on deepening Armenia’s links with the European Union, Prime Minister Karen Karapetian insisted on Monday.
“We are going to sign [the agreement,]” Karapetian told reporters as he visited a pro-government youth camp in the resort town of Tsaghkadzor.
The Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) was finalized by Armenian and EU officials in Yerevan in March. It is due to be signed during an EU summit in Brussels scheduled for November.
The CEPA is a less ambitious alternative to an Association Agreement negotiated by Armenian and EU officials in the summer of 2013. President Serzh Sarkisian scuttled that deal with his unexpected decision in September 2013 to make Armenia part of the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). The volte-face was widely attributed to strong Russian pressure.
Asked whether Yerevan might abandon the CEPA as well at the last minute, Karapetian said: “Can there be developments that will prevent the signing? I don’t see them at the moment.”
Justice Minister Davit Harutiunian similarly dismissed last month opposition speculation that Armenia may be pressurized by Russia not to sign alternative deal containing the main political provisions of the cancelled Association Agreement.
For her part, Naira Zohrabian, the chairwoman of an Armenian parliament committee on European integration, said on June 21 that Yerevan has “discussed” the key CEPA provisions with the Russians and that the latter do not object to them.