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Home arrow newsitems arrow Armenia Prime Minister Pashinyan to EF for PanEuropean area of EU and Russia+: = Hope !

Armenia Prime Minister Pashinyan to EF for PanEuropean area of EU and Russia+: = Hope !

Written by ACM
Thursday, 11 April 2019

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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- The new Armenian Prime Minister, Nicol Pashinyan, speaking to "Eurofora" at his 1st Visit to the CoE, vowed to go Straight Ahead with Erevan's original stance on seeking a similar position vis a vis Russia's Free Trade Area and EU's Common Markert, stressing his Hope that such a Strategic Policy will prove to be Succesfull, and well Conscious of the Fact that, in such a case, the move could have a much Wider, PanEuropean impact in the foreseable Future (See Infra).

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Pashinyan spoke to "Eurofora" in front of a new Memorial of the Armenian Genocide, set up at CoE's main entrance, just Hours after French President Emmanuel Macron (the Next CoE's Chairman, for May-November 2019) had inked a paper officially establshing April 24 as Day of Remembrance. Turkey threatened France to face "Consequences", but, meanwhile, it's  also Italy's Parliament which has just adopted a similar Resolution urging Rome's new Government to do like Paris...

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"Socialist" former EU Commissioner Fuhle, in charge of Enlargement and Eastern Partnership had Claimed in the Past, at a Speech to EU Parliament's plenary in Strasbourg, that  there would be an InCombatibility between EU's and Russia's Trade Areas de facto, mainly because of probable Differend Policies on Taxes at Foreign Trade.

Coming at a Crucial moment, back on Autumn 2013, when Ukraine had to make Hard Choices in this regard, such Claims pushed Kiev towards the Bloody Crisis which followed with Brutal Clashes at Kiev, etc, from February 2014, provoking the still Deadly Ukranian Conflict, which Divides Europe since then : As a consequence, such a Sharp Divide Restricted Growth in Europe, as OECD's Head, Angel Gurria, had Warned, meanwhile,  "Eurofora", (See f.ex.: ...), while Azerbaidjan was pushed towards squarely prefering the Russian-Kazakstan+ Trade Area, instead, (etc).  German Chancellor Angie Merkel's initial Intention to Search for a workable Compromise, able to Link, instead of Dividing EU's and Russia's Free Trade Areas, as she had Vowed in her Press Conference at the December 2013 EU Summit in Brussels, (See relevant "Eurofora"s NewsReports from the spot), was brutaly Hindered when she suddenly faced an Unrecedented Painful Incident at a Popular Swiss ressort, Obliging her to walk only with 2 Crunches on January 2014, afer which, she was Bypassed and overtaken by Events in Kiev's Deadly Clashes, since February 2014, resulting in a sharply Divided Europe...

Armenia was, practically, the 1st relevant Country of EU's Eastern Partnership to claim that such painful Dillemas could have (and should have) been Avoided, by trying to Link Both to EU's and Russia's Free Trade Areas, in a way wich aimed at the progressive creation of a Big, PanEuropean+ Trade Area, from Portugal up to Vladivostok, (as several Key EU Leaders supported, including, f.ex., Austria's Sebastian Kurz, a ChristianDemocrat/EPP : Comp., among others, also, f.ex. Kurz's Replies to "Eurofora"s Questions on the sidelines of EU Summits in Brussels, etc), but with unclear and/or unknown yet results.

>>> So that the New Armenian President's Reply to a relevant "Eurofora"s Question Today, concerning that Original Strategic Direction of his Country, and whether he believed that this could really be Succesfull in practice, was of Key Importance nowadays :

- "Yes, we really do Hope so !", President Pashinyan clearly and Optimistically stressed in Reply to Our above mentioned Query.

=> Asked whether Armenia was Willing to Resolutely Pursue that Policy and Advance ahead in this original Direction also in the foreseable Future, he appeared Adamant, and without any doubt.

(Significantly, President Pashinyan Carefully asked "Eurofora" to Repeat our Questions, taking a Moment to Think before Reacting to them, so that this really seems too be what he, effectively, intends to do).

+ Finally, the new Armenian Leader, appeared clearly Conscious of the Fact that his Country's original position on this Key matter is of Strategic Importance for All Europe, and, therefore, it's Also several Other EU Member, Candidate,  or otherwise Interested Countries who would be willing to keep clearly Informed on what is really happening about that Issue, so that it would, in fact, have a much Wider Impact throughout all Europe : President Pashiyan clearly showed that he Aknowledged that, and Agreed.

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++ Indeed, just a few Hours Earlier, he had also declared so, in a Series of Replies to various MEPs' Questions in CoE's Plenary Debates, (Comp. Supra), also in relation with Various Other Relevant key Points :

- F.ex. : - "We must build a Constructive relationship with All our international partners and try to resolve the issues that arise", Pashinyan urged in Conclusion, as a matter of General Principle.

- "Are we pro-Europe or pro-Russia? When I was a member of the opposition, I declared that I did not accept that Armenia or any other country ought to be pro-Russia, pro-Europe, pro-America or whatever", he added.

=> So that, " We (Amenia) are Determined to develop our relations with All our International Partners", he stressed :

- Indeed, "Armenia is a member of the Eurasian Economic Union; we (even) currently have the Presidency of that organisation and will do whatever we can to make the EEU more effective. We have a Strategic relationship with Russia and we will do whatever it takes to Develop it. We are a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization and we will do our best to make our participation in the organisation and the organisation itself more effective"

+ At the Same Time, "We currently have an Excellent relationship with the European Union", Panishyan added. F.ex., the "Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement" that we have Signed with the EU overlaps squarely with my Government’s Reform Agenda", he pointed out, inter alia.  

 

(../..)

 

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    The incoming Swedish EU Presidency (July-December 2009) may still remain in favour of Turkey's controversial EU bid, despite June 2009 EU Elections' results, but it has "very strong demands on Turkey"'s obligation to respect EU Rules, said the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, to "EuroFora", reacting to critical Press reports.

    - "I know (that) the link is often made also to Sweden's position on Turkey"'s controversial EU bid. Indeed, "we (Swedish EU Presidency) are very much engaged in the future membership of Turkey, but not without fullfiling all the Criteria".

    - "It's very clear that we (Swedish EU Presidecny) have very Strong Demands on Turkey, in a sort of concept for Future membership of the Union, ...which will be a Long Process...", she stressed.

    This means, in particular, "the Copenhagen Criteria (on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law), and also the adaptation to the Acquis of the European Union".

     - "If you listen to what Mr. Bildt (the Swedish Foreign Minister) says on Turkey at different occasions, it's very clear : We want Turkey to become part of the Union, in the Future. But we want it to fullfil all the Criteria : The Acquis of the European Union. That's very clear", she concluded.

    The Senior Official of the Swedish Foreign Ministry was reacting to critical Press Reports, from Brussels' Journalists invited by EU Commission's secretariat to Stockholm, who claimed that Bildt was abusing of a ..."Whip" (sic !) against Cyprus, by "threatening" the presence of UNO's Peace-keeping force at the "Green line" which separates the island's Government-controlled areas from the territories occupied by Ankara's army, if Nicosia didn't accept any political solution, regardless of Turkey's demands, before the end of 2009.

        Governing AKEL Party's new Secretary General, Andros Kyprianou, reacted by declaring that no-one can threat the People of Cyprus : -"We shall decide for our Future, and nobody else",  he reportedly said, asking to "keep calm". "In order to find a Solution soon, certain basic Principles must be respected", he stressed, calling those who feel an urgency to use their influence on Turkey. Other Political Parties were more critical.

    This was a reference to recently reported statements by Turkish Minister Bagis, Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan and Turkey's National Security Council (a Military-Political body), accused to push towards a partitionist "2 States" solution, contrary to UNO SC Resolutions for Cyprus' reunification.

    December 2009 is a crucial moment for EU's appraisal of Turkey's controversial EU bid, because EU Council has decided to review then Ankara's compliance with the European position on the recognition of Cyprus' Government, which was clearly set out by an EU reply of 21 September 2005 to Turkish Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan's claims, refusing to recognize even the existence of EU Member Cyprus, in controversial statements he made to London (former EU chair) on July 29, 2005.

    EU Parliament's latest Resolution on Turkey, adopted on March 2009 in Strasbourg, warned Ankara that "the non-fulfillment of Turkey's commitments... by December 2009, may further seriously affect the process of Negotiations" with the EU.

    In practice, the issue boils down to Ankara's "embargo" against Ships and Airplanes using Cyprus' seaports or airports at the strategic EU island, which traditionaly hosts one of the World's biggest Shipping flags. EU has already "freezed" 6 relevant Chapters in EU - Turkey Negotiations since December 2006, after Ankara refused to fullfil a commitment it had undertaken when EU had decided to open controversial "accession" negotiations with Turkey, back on December 2005.

    - "As far as EU - Turkey relations are concerned, it's clear that Turkey needs to fullfil its obligation of full, non-discriminatory implementation of the additional Protocol (to "EC-Turkey Association Agreement"),  This is an important issue....and should be addresseed as soon as possible as it clearly affects the pace of the accession negotiations.Issues covered by the Declaration of September 2005 will continue to be followed up, and progress is urgently awaited", warned earlier in Strasbourg the out-going Czech EU Presidency (former vice-Prime Minister Alexander Vodra).

    But the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, dismissed "interpretations" by "some" that Foreign Minister Carl Bildt was reportedly "threatening" Cyprus with consequences on the UNFICYP, if it doesn't accept any solution until December 2009, while Turkey is reportedly delaying in an attempt to impose a partitionist "2 States" solution.

    On the contrary, Julin, stressed that "Sweden has strong demands on Turkey'"s respect of "Copenhagen Criteria and EU Acquis".

    Meanwhile, Sweden  is "concerned" about the risk of "Stalemate" in Cyprus' Talks, but is well aware that "the main responsibilities lie with the two leaders and the UNO", Europe playing only a role of "facilitator".

    After carefully verifying, the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, stressed to "EuroFora" that Bildt's reference to UNFICYP "was not linked to a Threat", and dismissed those who "interpreted" it so.

    On the contrary, the Swedish EU Presidency acknowledged the fact that Peace Talks are mainly for the UN and the leaders of the Cypriot communities, EU's role being limited into that of a "facilitator".

    As for Turkey's reported attempts to impose a "2 States' solution", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service sharply replied by stressing that Turkey must respect the "EU Acquis" rules.

    In particular :

    - "Basically he (Bildt) underlined that it's the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus and the UN that have the main responsibilities for solving the problem", started to say the Swedish Senior Official to "EuroFora", referring to the above-mentioned "briefing".

    - "But the EU had a role in sort of pointing out the benefits and facilitating a little bit the outcome for the settlement of the whole Cyprus' issue", she added.

    - "And he did state the Fact, that the rest of the World (i.e. USA, etc) will, of course, look at the differend issues which are at the table, and the future of the UN Peace keeping force is part of what is at the table", she admitted.

    - "I understand that some have interpreted that as a Threat, by the Swedish Minister" "But", in reality, "it's a statement of a Fact, that, when we'll look at the differend issues, one of the issues on which we shall have to take a stand on, is the future of the UN Peace keeping force in Cyprus".

    Indeed, one of the questions usually raised for a Solution of Cyprus' issue is what International and/or European or other Guarantees, by a Peace-keeping force, might be needed afterwards, eventually for a transitory period.

    Questioned anew by "EuroFora" whether (according to critical Press Reports) this could be taken as a veiled warning that, if Cyprus didn't accept any Turkish demand for any solution whatever, it might be left alone to face Ankara's Military Invasion/Occupation, she denied :

    - "He (Bildt) didn't say it in that way"... "It was not linked to a threat, or anything like that", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service stressed.

    On the contrary, "he (Bildt) underlined that the main responsibility lies with the parties concerned on the island". "The EU can try to facilitate and show the benefits of reaching a settlement. But also, when the EU and the rest of the World (i.e. USA) will have to look at it, they will look at all the Facts on the table, and the presence of the UN Peace-keeping force is one".

    And "he (Bildt) didn't speak about that at all", she replied to "EuroFora" question on Turkey's reported attemps to impose, in one way of another, a partitionist "2 States solution".

    Asked whether Bildt's aim was to incite both parties to move forward efficiently, she agreed :

    - In fact, "the EU is really very concerned with the Stalemate in the situation. Yes !", the Head of Sweden's Foreign Ministry's Press Service anounced. That's why Bildt "was hoping for the two parties (i.e. for Turkey's also) to engage and break, a little-bit, the present stalemate, come to a solution of the issue" of Cyprus.

    But, replying  to a "EuroFora"s question on the risk, denounced by several politicians in case of strict Time Deadlines, for Turkey to provoke a stalemate and wait for the time to come to impose a partitionist "2 States' solution", she reacted by pointing at Turkey's obligation to respect "EU Acquis" :

    - "Turkey must fullfil the EU Acquis : That's clear !", the Swedish Senior Official stressed.

    More details are expected when Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt will debate his Programme with new MEPs at EU Parliament's plenary mid-July in Strasbourg, that he has visited already in 2008.

    Foreign Minister Carl Bildt became familiar with Strasbourg's CoE last year, when Sweden chaired the PanEuropean organization of Human Rights. As EU chairman-in-office, he will also chair the 27-member States strong EU Group inside the 47-member States strong CoE.

    Minister for EU affairs, Cecilia Malmstrom is well known at EU Parliament, where she has been an active MEP of the Liberal Group for many years, following also Press Freedom issues.

    Both have already made various statements at "EuroFora", on differend topical matters.

    ***

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