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Estonia First To Ratify EU-Armenia Accord


ESTONIA -- (L-R) President of the European Council Donald Tusk, Estonia's Prime Minister Juri Ratas and President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker attend a news conference during the European Union Tallinn Digital Summit in Tallinn, Estonia,

Estonia has become the first European Union member state to ratify a landmark agreement that was signed by the EU and Armenia in November.

The Armenian Foreign Ministry told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) on Friday that official Yerevan has received a relevant notification from the Baltic nation’s government.

The Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) must be ratified by all 28 EU member states as well as the European Parliament in order to come into force. A senior Armenian lawmaker, Armen Ashotian, said earlier this week that Yerevan hopes the European side will complete the process by July 2019.

Ashotian also said that the Armenian parliament will likely ratify the CEPA by the end of March.

The CEPA is a less ambitious substitute for an Association Agreement which was nearly finalized by Armenia and the EU 2013. President Serzh Sarkisian precluded the signing of that agreement with his decision to make Armenia part of a Russian-led trade bloc of ex-Soviet republics.

The CEPA, which is more than 350 pages long, was signed by Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian and the EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, in Brussels on November 24. Mogherini said the agreement “will broaden the scope of our relations.”

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