YEREVAN. – Armenia has not secretly negotiated with anybody, President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan said during the panel at the Munich Security Conference.
Sargsyan answered to the question by Ian Bremmer, the president and founder of Eurasia Group, who asked about Armenia’s decision to dump the association agreement with EU and whether it was done due to Russian pressure.
“The question seems rather strange as we have repeatedly stated that we have always been open and honest with our partners, especially in issues related to integration processes. When we started our negotiations with the EU, our Russian counterparts, our allies were aware of it, while our European partners were aware that we were negotiating with the Eurasian Economic Union to join the then Customs Union. We could see that it was possible. And when the principle of “and, and” was replaced by that of “either, or” we proved unable to sign such an agreement. That is, it was the European Union rather than Armenia to give up the signing of the Association Agreement,” President said.
Armenia has suggested signing part of the agreement, namely the political component, if possible, but the European partners said “no”, President said, adding that just a few weeks later, they signed such an agreement with Ukraine.
“We understand very well Armenia’s opportunities and Ukraine’s possibilities, the role of Armenia and the role of Ukraine; nevertheless, it was strange for us. So we did not give up the idea of signing such a cooperation arrangement, and thank God that the European Union made a relevant decision later, which was confirmed at the Riga summit. It was a differentiated approach. And under that differentiated approach, we managed to sign a document with the European Union.
I want to emphasize once again that we have not secretly negotiated with anybody, we have not made any decisions under pressure from anyone, and as I noticed, our historical experience shows that trying to gain temporary benefits from conflicts leads to big tragedies. We had gone through one and did not want to run the risk of another tragedy.”