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 Friday, March 1 2024 13:39
Marianna Mkrtchyan

Brussels simply responded to Armenian leadership`s requests about  desire to diversify country`s security and economy - Vassilis Maragos

Brussels simply responded to Armenian leadership`s requests about  desire to diversify country`s security and economy - Vassilis Maragos

ArmInfo.Two weeks ago, the process of developing a new agenda for Armenia-EU cooperation was  launched in Brussels. Head of the EU delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Vassilis Maragos, stated ton the air of the Public Television of Armenia.

When asked to disclose the meaning of EU chief diplomat Josep  Borrell's statement from the rostrum of the European Parliament about  historical relations with Armenia, Mr. Maragos noted that the new  stage in relations is dictated by the strong desire of both sides to  bring existing relations even closer. At the same time, he emphasized  that the foundation for this new stage was laid last year in Granada  during meetings with Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.

Mr. Maragos noted that after October, the EU Council asked the EU  institutions to develop options for closer relations with Armenia,  and what is happening now is an expression of all these processes.   At the same time, the diplomat expressed confidence that there are  areas where Yerevan and Brussels can cooperate more closely in order  to contribute to the realization of the aspirations of the Armenian  people for a better life and prosperity.

Mr. Maragos also noted that a new sector of Armenia-EU interaction  has been established. "This is a security sector, and we hope that in  a short time we will have success in this interaction. This is an  area where we have not had close cooperation before, but now we have  the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMA) here, which monitors the situation  at the border. In addition, we record Armenia's desire to join the EU  peace framework. Discussions in this area are being conducted with  the Armenian Ministry of Defense," the diplomat said.

When asked whether the EU's goal in its policy in the Caucasus is to  squeeze Russia out of the region, the European diplomat assured that  the answer to this question is simple, Brussels simply responded to  requests from the Armenian leadership about the desire to diversify  the country's security and economy.

These facilitation processes do not need to be viewed solely through  the prism of black and white, he said.  "And we are confident that  this diversification assistance will only contribute to the  independence, sovereignty of Armenia and increase the sustainability  of its institutions against the backdrop of the challenges facing the  country," Mr. Maragos said.

To the remark that Armenia is largely dependent on Russian energy  resources, and its economy as a whole is Russian-oriented, how  economic diversification is viewed in Brussels, the ambassador said,  in particular.  "At the end of the day, everything will depend on the  Armenian economic players, decisions of the Armenian authorities and  how they see the trade future of the country. We are partners, and we  are helping to develop our trade relations. Over the past few years,  our trade turnover has doubled, and this is all for the benefit of  the Armenian people," he emphasized, expressing his belief that  improving the quality goods will only be in favor of Armenian trade  players.

Referring to the fact that, according to experts, the increase in the  EU presence in Armenia only irritates Russia, but there are no  guarantees that it will contribute to regional peace and the  protection of Armenia from aggression, the head of the EU delegation  noted that the European Union is present both in Armenia and in the  region generally. "We are committed to peace and security in this  region. We are committed to cooperation with all peoples of this  region, guided by the principle of non-use of force. There must be  dialogue, and we are ready to use the European Peace Facility  developed in recent years by the European Union for this purpose. Its  purpose is to stimulate defense capabilities to guarantee that the  use of force will not become a method of resolving disagreements in  conflicts," the diplomat noted.

According to him, in addition, the EU has committed itself to  developing communications and, in this regard, has initiated a  dialogue with the Armenian government within the framework of the  "Crossroads of Peace" project proposed by the Armenian side. "And  this is the direction that is in the field of our discussions to  understand what the dividend from peace will be," he noted, adding  that the EU in its actions around the world, and in Armenia, in  particular, is guided by the principle of the rule of law.

At the same time, he assured that the situation in the region is  clear for the EU. "We believe in the sovereignty and territorial  integrity of Armenia and contribute to this. That is why we are  developing this cooperation project with the government of Armenia,"  he said, again pointing out the unacceptability of the use of force  and the importance of observing the principles of the UN Charter.  Speaking about the situation around Artsakh, Mr. Maragos noted that  the humanitarian situation around Nagorno-Karabakh is very difficult,  and the EU has mobilized more than 60 million euros to help Artsakh  refugees. At the same time, he assured that the EU will continue  negotiations with the government and political society of the  Republic of Armenia to find new ways to promote support programs for  refugees from Nagorno-Karabakh.

Referring to reports that Russian border guards are preventing EU  observers from entering Nerkin Hand, the Ambassador first noted that  since the deployment of the EU observation mission, there has been a  sharp decrease in border tensions.

"We patrol the entire border, there are places where there are  obstacles, and we are working with our Armenian partners to resolve  these issues," the diplomat concluded. 

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