EU-Armenia Framework Agreement and Karabakh Conflict

On October 13, the text of the Comprehensive and Extended Partnership Agreement to be signed between the European Union and the Republic of Armenia in November. As expected the agreement touches upon the Karabakh conflict among other issues.

What does the Agreement state?

The text of the Agreement reads that the parties recognize the importance of the commitment of the Republic of Armenia to the peaceful and lasting settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and the need to achieve that settlement as early as possible, in the framework of the negotiations led by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs.

Then it follows that it is required to achieve that settlement on the basis of the purposes and principles enshrined in the UN Charter and the OSCE Helsinki Final Act, in particular those related to refraining from the threat or use of force, the territorial integrity of States, and the equal rights and self-determination of peoples also noting the stated commitment of the European Union to support this settlement process.


Is it an ordinary formulation?

The political part of the text of the new Armenia-EU Agreement is very similar to the Association Agreements with Moldova and Georgia with its content and even structure. However, there is a specific difference between the Association Agreements with these countries and the political part of the Agreement with Armenia.

In the Association Agreements of Georgia and Moldova  the only fundamental principle for the settlement of conflicts in these countries is that of territorial integrity without any reference to the principle of self-determination of nations. However, the Agreement with Armenia indicates as well the principle of self-determination of nations along with the principle of territorial integrity.

Moreover, the Association Agreements of Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine  state that the parties are committed to preserving the independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of borders. Although the Ukrainian conflict had started conflict has started after the Association Agreement was drafted it is no secret that the EU clearly protects territorial integrity of Ukraine, whereas in the agreement with Armenia territorial integrity is not prioritized. This statement once reaffirms that the EU approach to Karabakh conflict differs from the EU stance on the conflicts in Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine.

At the same time this formulation establishes legitimate grounds for Artsakh being ever formally recognized by the EU.

Anna Pambukhchyan

“Union of Informed Citizens”

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