Giorgi Gachechiladze: "The EU is trying to entice Armenia to its side"
A week ago, Armenia signed the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement with the EU. In 2014, the Association Agreement with the EU was signed by neighboring Georgia. The part of the Georgian version of the agreement with the EU was the Treaty on a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Zone. The similar document was then planned to be signed between the EU and Yerevan, but in 2015 the Armenian leadership refused these plans, deciding to join the EAEU. The formalization of the new agreement between Armenia and the EU could not go unnoticed in Georgia. The MP of the ruling Georgian Dream coalition, chairman of the Green Party of Georgia, Georgy Gachechiladze, told Vestnik Kavkaza about how Tbilisi reacts to the deepening of the ties between the EU and Armenia, taking into account the country’s own experience.
- Did Armenia sign the same association agreement with the EU as Georgia?
- Of course not. The states associated with the EU are Georgia, Ukraine and Moldova. The rapprochement with the EU envisages certain stages. Georgia began this process back in the days of Eduard Shevardnadze. At the same time, Armenia made the first steps in the same direction. So, the document you mentioned is not ‘Armenia's first step’ towards the EU. As for the association with the EU, it is necessary to approve the road map - the action plan and much more. After their implementation, the process of ratification by the European states begins. In short, this is a rather lengthy process.
- But Yerevan makes it clear that this is the same association, only without the trade component ...
- So this particular component is the most important and essential, therefore the document signed by Armenia is not an association agreement, but rather something else.
- Armenia is a full member of the EAEU. Does one play off against another?
- Of course, it does. The EU is a serious political organization and, of course, it is trying to entice Armenia to its side. The agreements are being concluded with Armenia, certain conditions for the transition to the next stages are being created, and so on, and then Europeans will ask Yerevan straightforwardly: "Either you with us, or with them."
- And what is Armenia’s interest?
- Armenia, as always, tries to have a chance everywhere. They are very skillful diplomats - they want to be ‘there and here.’ And when the moment comes, they will make a decision, but they do not say "no" to anyone beforehand. By the way, Armenia is a member of the CSTO, and its military contingent is carrying out a peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan, as well as our contingent. They are very skillful in politics. And when the global process against Russia is over, Armenia will have everything ready to go to the West.
- However, the Armenian leaders say that the agreement with the EU will help them in the fight against corruption and implementing of the institutional reforms ...
- Of course, the EU sets conditions for Yerevan as it did before for us: ‘Do this and that, and that.’ Armenia will try to do everything at least on a minimum level, so as not to lose the relations with Europe.