Serzh Sargsyan’s Speech Enabled By Francois Hollande


Interview with Gaidz Minassian, expert, French Center of Strategic

Serzh Sargsyan announced at the PACE that we are ready to sign the
EU Association Agreement and dismissed assumptions on Russian pressure.

Do you think the signing of another document is possible in November?

The speech of the president at the Council of Europe was, first of all,
an attempt to tell that Armenia cannot be a tool in the hands of the
Europeans and Russians. Second, it showed that Armenia has no problems
with the European Union and Russia. It showed that the problem is
between Moscow and Brussels, especially those EU member states whose
relations with Russia are complicated, namely the Baltic States,
Poland and Sweden. However, France and Germany see no controversies
between the Customs Union and the Association Agreement.

Therefore, Armenia should indicate that since all the countries are WTO
members, there is no need to seek for controversies. And as you see,
the speech was brought into being after the meeting with the French
president Francois Hollande because Hollande definitely followed
Armenia’s words and will definitely try to persuade other EU member
states that Armenia has the right posture and it is necessary to
encourage and enable Armenia to sign the Association Agreement and
join the Customs Union.

Is the both option still valid?

It certainly is since we do not know what the Customs Union will
be, it is still valid because we don’t know how Ukraine, Georgia,
Moldova will act which are ready to sign the Association Agreement
but Azerbaijan and Belarus are not. This is the reality but Armenia
does not want to challenge the Russians.

Fule announced that they have lost confidence in Armenia.

There is a confidence issue because the negotiations were based on
European standards but Armenia relies and focuses on Berlin and Paris.

If these two agree with Armenia, the problem must occur inside the
European Union, not Armenia. In other words, the focus is on the
priorities of two states, France and Germany because first these states
are powerful and have good relations with Russia, they are developed
states, besides Russia is a Minsk Group co-chair. On the other hand,
we have a community in France which has an important role in that
country. However, there is a confidence issue, especially regarding
the European leaders but the European leaders have to keep integrity,
especially once Germany and France make all the European states
follow this way. How will Europe treat Russia, a little strictly or
moderately? This is the issue.

On the whole, how would you describe Serzh Sargsyan’s speech?

One should take into account that the speech of the Armenian president
followed and was enabled by his meeting with Francois Hollande.

Besides, the president of Armenia cannot just admit there was pressure
because he is the president of a sovereign state, and he cannot
speak about pressure because that would mean that Armenia is under
the Russian influence. Third, the Europeans want peace, stability,
a good climate in the South Caucasus. And this speech is evidence
that Azerbaijan is the disturbance of the region because we agree
with all the documents but Azerbaijan is reluctant to sign them.

Do you mean Armenia neither won, nor lost the negotiations?

Yes, it neither won, neither lost, it is a waiting period, it depends
on what France and Germany will say. It will be something else if the
president of France or the German chancellor or another key official
states that Armenia may sign the Association Agreement with the EU
and be a Customs Union member. But we need to know what France will
say and who should speak, whether the French government agrees with
Armenia’s position and what the position of France is. If they assume
that there is no controversy, then we have no problem with Russia,
otherwise there is an issue.

The issue is between Moscow and Brussels.

France cannot conduct an anti-Armenian policy and, basically, bilateral
relations are always productive. However, fear must be eventually
removed from our bodies and souls, it must be overcome. Our enemies
want to keep this fear to keep us under their control, to intimidate
Armenians, not to let them think freely. This is the historical issue.

Siranuysh Papyan 13:40 04/10/2013 Story from News:

From: A. Papazian