YEREVAN. – Zhoghovurd newspaper of the Republic of Armenia (RA) writes: The EU closely monitors the activities of [Armenia’s] key judicial institutions, such as the Supreme Judicial Council [(SJC)], and is ready—together with its international partners—to assist Armenia’s authorities in facing the challenges arising from the reforms.
This is stated in response from the EU ambassador's office in Armenia to a question sent by Zhoghovurd daily. The daily had turned to the EU Ambassador to the RA, head of the [EU] delegation [to Armenia], Andrea Wiktorin, and asked for her opinion on the controversial [audio] recording of former SJC chairmen Ruben Vardazaryan and Gagik Jhangiryan. In particular, we had asked to what extent it corresponds to the statements about having an independent judicial system [in Armenia].
The reply letter received from the EU delegation in Armenia specifically states: "Within the framework of the EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement, the EU continues to assist in justice reforms in Armenia, to which the [countries’] authorities have shown continued commitment. Respect for the rule of law, one of the core values of the EU, includes an independent, accountable, and effective judicial system."