SWEDEN’S AMBASSADOR SAYS VISA-FREE REGIME MAY BE INTRODUCED FOR ARMENIANS TO TRAVEL WITHIN EU
Dec 11, 2009
YEREVAN, December 11, /ARKA/. Sweden’s ambassador to Armenia, Hans
Gunnat Aden, said today in Yerevan that a visa-free regime may be
introduced for Armenians to travel within EU. Speaking to journalists
during a press briefing on the occasion of Sweden’s handing the EU
chairmanship to Lithuania he said the question of facilitating visa
regime between the EU and Armenia is being discussed.
"I can say for sure that it will be facilitated. It may be cancelled,
but it is, of course, a matter of future,’ he said.
He said Armenia was part of the former Soviet Union and ‘unfortunately,
part of Armenians, especially the older generation, preserves the
Soviet mentality and does not share European values.
He said one of the goals of the Eastern Partnership program is to
help Armenia get back to its historical democratic traditions.
He said Europe expects intelligible answers from Armenian authorities
to a set of its questions relating, particularly, to freedom of
religion, press, assembly, democratic elections, independent judiciary
and an unbiased inquiry of the 2008 post-election events.
The Eastern Partnership project was initiated and presented by Poland
with assistance from Sweden at a the EU’s General Affairs and External
Relations Council in Brussels on 26 May 2008 and was inaugurated in
Prague on 7 May 2009. The Eastern Partnership is meant to complement
the Northern Dimension and the Union for the Mediterranean by providing
an institutionalised forum for discussing visa agreements, free trade
deals and strategic partnership agreements with the EU’s eastern
neighbors, while avoiding the controversial topic of accession to
the European Union. Its geographical scope is to consist of Armenia,
Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.