STEPANAKERT, May 9. /ARKA/. Speaking to the first news conference in the capacity of prime minister of Armenia today in Stepanakert, the capital of Nagorno-Karabakh, Nikol Pashinyan said Armenia will continue to deepen relations with European partners, and ‘we hope that the EU countries will soon ratify the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) signed late last year between the EU and Armenia’.
Pashinyan also expressed hope that the sides would register positive changes in facilitating the visa regime between Armenia and the EU countries.
The CEPA was signed on November 24, 2017, at the fifth summit of the Eastern Partnership Program in Brussels.
It will come into force after all 28 EU member states and Armenia ratify it. The first EU country to have ratified the agreement was Estonia, followed by Latvia. Armenia and the EU were supposed to sign the Association Agreement and the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) at a 2013 November Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius but on September 3 Armenia’s president Serzh Sargsyan announced that the country was going to become part of the Russian-led Customs Union.
In early October 2015 the EU Foreign Affairs Council authorized the European Commission and the High Representative to open negotiations on a new legal basis for relations with Armenia.
The new agreement will replace the current agreement on partnership and cooperation between the EU and Armenia.
Among other important aspects, CEPA has a provision on the peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict on the basis of norms and principles of international law.
Besides, CEPA does not limit Armenia’s international cooperation and participation in other integration processes, particularly, its membership in the Eurasian Economic Union.
Armenian president Armen Sarkissian signed on April 18 a law on ratification of the CEPA