Madam President, Colleagues
First of all, I would like to thank and congratulate Rapporteur Mr. Andrey Kovatchev for this report, which reflects the complexity of the EU-Armenia relations.
As the Chair of the South Caucasus Delegation I would like to highlight some points.
Firstly, I would like to note the deployment of European Union Mission in Armenia (EUMA) to monitor the situation along the Armenian side of the border with Azerbaijan and any conflict-related incidents. It is a very important step for the security of the region and significant contribution to further engagement of the EU in the South Caucasus.
Secondly, I appreciate Armenia’s commitment to the CEPA (Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership) agreement that is a strategic blueprint for the key comprehensive reforms based on the principles of rule of law, democracy and human rights. Armenia has achieved a lot in judicial reforms and the implementation of a national anti-corruption strategy, media freedom. Armenia ranks 51st according to Press Freedom Index. At the same time, a lot remains to be done, including protection of minorities, LGBTI community and gender equality.
Thirdly, I would like to reiterate that EU’s Eastern Partnership policy is tailor-made and based on the more-for-more principle. The future of EU-Armenian relations depends on Armenia’s political choices and commitments, some of which could be very challenging, including Customs Union with Russia and Belarus, membership in the CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organization).
Finally, like numerous times before, I would like to encourage both – Azerbaijan and Armenia – to make political commitments and compromises to engage in constructive peace talks initiated by the Council President Charles Michel. Thank you!