Home / Video / What Armenia’s Delegation Found Unacceptable in EU’s Proposed Statement

What Armenia’s Delegation Found Unacceptable in EU’s Proposed Statement

Republican Party of Armenia MP Samvel Farmanyan doesn't agree that the EU-Armenia Parliamentary Cooperation Committee's Feb. 5–6 meeting in Strasbourg was a failure, he said at a press conference in Yerevan today.

"Yes, it should be said that this wasn't the most effective way out, but to call it as a door closing in EU-Armenia relations, a window opening, is an overestimated assessment," he said. 

Recall, Armenian delegation member, MP Nikol Pashinyan called the meeting in Strasbourg a failure, emphasizing that for the first time, the EU and Armenia didn't issue a joint statement, and the official dinner for Armenia's delegation was cancelled by European Parliament Vice-President Jacek Protasiewicz.

"We went to this meeting after the Sept. 3 statement [by Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan that Armenia would be joining the Russian-led Customs Union]. Our goal was to try and explain to our European colleagues the current situation, the problems of Armenia, and that, yes, the Customs Union is a fait accompli, but we want to come up with a new format for cooperation with the EU," said the Armenian Revolutionary Federation representative in the delegation, Aghvan Vardanyan. 

The MP said that for the first time in EU-Armenia relations, it was not possible to make a joint statement. According to Vardanyan, the EU's and Armenia's proposals were different and didn't coincide on one point on the Karabakh conflict. 

Farmanyan, in turn, was dissatisfied with the EU's approach, saying that they were presented with a version of the statement on the conflict, which, according to the EU delegation, was the consolidated opinion of all European Parliament members and was non-negotiable.

"I consider this approach unacceptable in negotiations. As for the content, let me say that I consider that the EU's text was not grounded in reality and gave rise to manipulative wording. Let me remind you that the document had to be adopted between two subjects equal before the law," he said.

Samvel Farmanyan avoided saying why he was displeased with the EU's proposed document, urging journalists themselves to compare the versions distributed to them. Vardanyan also urged journalists not to ask too many questions, as this was an "intimate conversation" between them and the journalists. Regardless, journalists insisted Farmanyan say which point he didn't accept in the version proposed by the EU. From Farmanyan's long answer it became clear that he would've liked to see in the statement a note about the right of peoples to self-determination.

"It's no secret to any of us that you won't find any wording in the Republic of Armenia's name where there isn't a reference to international legal instruments that underpin the right of peoples to self-determination as the basis," said the ruling party MP.

Aghvan Vardanyan, in turn, said he didn't like the word "protracted" in the following sentence: "[The EU] firmly emphasizes that there can be no alternative to the peaceful and lasting settlement of the protracted Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and deeply regrets the lack of progress in the negotiation process." Vardanyan also said he would've liked to see points on the self-determination of peoples, territorial integrity, as well as excluding the use of force.

According to Nikol Pashinyan, a statement wasn't adopted at the request not of the delegations, but of Armenia's ruling authorities and the EU. "The Armenian side didn't want to adopt a statement so there won't be a need to give explanations in Russia. And the European side didn't want to, so as to negate Armenia's statements that see, Azerbaijan cannot make a statement, but we can," said Pashinyan. He said it's not as if the Europeans were handing over Karabakh and the Armenian delegation to the EU was standing in front of the artillery — like Alexander Matrosov. Farmanyan, however, didn't appreciate this comparison and said: "Behave properly, Nikol."

At the press conference Pashinyan reaffirmed the following 3 observations he made in his published article today: "First, there is a lukewarm atmosphere in Armenia-EU relations. Second, the Republic of Armenia is less and less perceived as an independent state. This is of great importance also in the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh. Third, the more relations with the Customs Union develop, the more relations with the EU deteriorate."