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Armenia: Press remarks by High Representative Josep Borrell ahead of the Partnership Council

18.05.2022
Brussels
EEAS Press Team

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Good evening, 

I am happy to have this meeting of the Partnership Council with Armenia. This is done in a difficult situation. We know how the war in Ukraine is affecting the whole world, and in particular the region. But it is also a moment to continue working on reforms and to fully develop this comprehensive and enhanced Partnership Agreement.   

Our bilateral relations with Armenia are very good, but there are still reforms to be done. And this meeting will be a good occasion to encourage Armenia to continue in the European path, to continue working in order to fulfill all the purposes and objectives of this Partnership Agreement. 

To have this [Partnership] Council is also a good occasion for the Armenian side to know from us how we perceive the war in Ukraine, how we perceive the consequences of this war, and how and why we will continue supporting Ukrainians in their fight in order to preserve their independence and sovereignty in front of Russia’s aggression. 

 

Q&A 

Q. You just met with the Prime Minister of Georgia [Irakli Garibashvili]; it was a long meeting. Which were the main messages from your side? Which were the main topics discussed? How do you estimate Georgia’s way to European integration? Which conditions? 

Yes, we had a meeting. Well, not so long. For our standards it has been a normal meeting. I appreciated a lot having the opportunity of meeting with him, with your Prime Minister. What have we been talking about? Well, you can easily imagine, no? The alignment with the sanctions, to avoid any kind of circumvention of the sanctions, the way that these sanctions have been presented sometimes in the political debate in Georgia. Also [we discussed] about the situation in the separatist regions. We share the concern of the Prime Minister about this referendum that we will consider illegal and we will not recognise. We will continue supporting the territorial integrity of Georgia. And then, certainly, also, it could not be otherwise, the prospects of the request for [EU] membership, the Opinion that the [European] Commission will deliver in the next weeks.  

If I had something to consider together with him is that this is a window of opportunity and this is our moment to accelerate reforms to avoid any kind of political polarisation, to continue pushing on the reforms - especially in the justice system. Because these are the issues in which, when the Commission will make the evaluation on the Georgia request, they will be taken into consideration. So, this is a good moment to accelerate the reforms, because it is important to note that the reform of the judiciary for us is the cornerstone of all reforms. The European Union is a political system based on the Rule of Law, on an independent judiciary, fully accountable and having the trust of the citizens. And we will request this to any candidate [country]. 

 

Q. About the sanctions, do you mean about Ukraine [inaudible]? 

Yes, I said about the sanctions to Russia due to the Ukrainian war. We appreciate very much the vote [of Georgia] in the United Nations, knowing how difficult it is for you to be controversial against Russia. But we also have to ask for an evaluation of the sanctions that could not jeopardise their effectiveness. 

 

Q. Talking about Armenia and Azerbaijan, if they finally reach an agreement, which sort of security guarantees can the EU provide to those people who are living in Nagorno-Karabakh? 

Well, we really would appreciate a lot if this agreement could be reached. And we have been engaged with the two parties in order for them to really look for this agreement with the best will. We are far away from that yet. But if this happens, the European Union will provide any help that we can in order to support the implementation of the agreement. 

 

Link to the video: https://audiovisual.ec.europa.eu/en/video/I-225585

Peter Stano
Lead Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
+32 (0)460 75 45 53
Paloma Hall Caballero
Press Officer for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
+32 (0)2 296 85 60
+32 (0)460 76 85 60