(Saturday, November 25)
“Zhoghovurd” says that the Armenia political class “held its breath” up until the long-awaited signing on November 24 of Armenia’s Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with the European Union. “The signing of this document is undoubtedly the most important event in Armenia’s political life of the last several years,” comments the paper. “Having said that, positive expectations from the document are excessive and will fade away very soon.”
“Zhamanak” also welcomes the signing of the CEPA, saying that Europe is giving Armenia a chance to better cope with its political and economic problems. The onus, the paper says, is on Armenia to utilize that chance. “The agreement gives Armenia an alternative which is being seen anti-Russian but in reality has a totally different logical significance,” it says. “It is undeniable that the Russian-Armenian relationship has degraded and become lopsided over the years. The key factor here is that the absence of an alternative for Armenia, including in the public consciousness, has led to the distortion of the architecture of the bilateral relationship. The emergence of the alternative will help to make the Russian-Armenian relationship more sound and rational.”
“Europe itself realizes that it will fail to achieve dramatic changes in Armenia, just as it has failed to achieve them in other ex-Soviet countries that have signed Association Agreements [with the EU,]” writes “Hraparak.” “Namely, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. This is why Europe is now takes a differentiated approach to countries knocking on its doors and is patient in its expectations.”
“The EU-Armenia agreement is neither a lifeline nor a cure,” editorializes “Aravot.” “It is an opportunity that we can use.” The paper says that the EU could contribute to Armenia’s democratization only “if the majority of our society really wants that.” “Nobody can force us to become tolerant and broad-minded if our wish is to be narrow-minded and have prejudices and stereotypes,” it says.