Russian Pressure Upon Armenia Will Draw EU Response – Lithuanian MEP

RUSSIAN PRESSURE UPON ARMENIA WILL DRAW EU RESPONSE – LITHUANIAN MEPS

Baltic News Service / – BNS
September 4, 2013 Wednesday 11:04 AM EET

VILNIUS, Sep 04, BNS – The European Parliament (EP) may adopt a
resolution on Russian pressure upon post-Soviet countries involved
in the European Union’s (EP) Eastern Partnership program, Lithuanian
members of the EP told BNS.

“During a meeting in Strasbourg next week, we should adopt a resolution
on Russian pressure upon Eastern Partnership countries,” said
Lithuanian MEP Laima Andrikiene of the European People’s Party group.

She attended meetings between MEPs and representatives of EU
delegations and special representatives on Tuesday.

In her words, the meetings addressed the Armenian decision to join
the Russian-led Customs Union, thus thwarting its hopes of signing
the Free Trade Agreement with the EU.

“Of course, there will be response from the EU, however, if this is
followed through, it will have very serious consequences for Armenia,”
said the MEP.

In Andrikiene’s words, the Russian actions can be viewed as pressure
upon the EU.

“By pressing Armenia into joining the Customs Union, Russia does not
act against the Eastern Partners countries but against the whole
EU, as the Eastern Partnership policies are among the EU’s most
active policies and one of the banners of EU’s foreign policies,”
she told BNS.

Social Democrat MEP Zigmantas Balcytis, a member of the EP Socialist
group, maintains that Armenia’s decision on the Customs Union and
possible pressure on Russia’s side will not go unanswered by the EU.

“I believe the issue will be included into the EP Strasbourg plenary
session,” he added.

“The event, which brings major changes to preliminary agreements and,
in the end, the essence of Eastern Partnership – extensive efforts
may be made, however, things can change overnight,” Balcytis told BNS.

Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsian announced the plans of joining
the Customs Union on Tuesday after meeting with Russian President
Vladimir Putin. Putin emphasized Russia will provide “full support
to the process.”

Armenia was initially expected to initial the Association and Free
Trade Agreement with the EU during the Eastern Partnership summit in
Vilnius in the end of November.

From: A. Papazian

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