ArmInfo. The deadline of launch of negotiations on Armenia's joining European Common Aviation Area has been extended, Deputy Economy Minister of Armenia Garegin Melkonyan told ArmInfo's correspondent.
In December 2015 Edward Nalbandian, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia during the meeting with Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, stated that Armenia is ready to sign Common Aviation Area Agreement with the EU. Within the recent months Yerevan has repeatedly stressed its interest in soonest launch of negotiations. On May 17 First Deputy Economy Minister of Armenia Garegin Melkonyan informed that Armenia appealed to the EU for launching talks for the given agreement.
Melkonyan clarified that the Commission of the European Council has prepared a package on EU aviation policy, which also envisages development and clear regulation of further cooperation with other countries. Particularly there are a number of countries, with which it is already planned to launch negotiations on joining European Common Aviation Area. At the same time according to the regulations in order to start negotiations the European Commission needs to get relevant mandate from the EU. Yerevan anticipated that EU Council will confirm the mandate on launch of negotiations in the early June. However, as it turned out the deadline was extended till the end of June. "The issue on providing mandate to the European Commission for launching negotiations will be discussed on June 20-25. Common aviation policy will be approved, within which the actions related to certain countries will be defined", the deputy minister informed.
Immediately after receiving the mandate European Commission will be authorized to start negotiations with Yerevan, Armenia will be given the draft agreement, which will be the basis of the negotiations. According to the representative of the economy ministry the negotiations will not last long, as there already exists the model format of cooperation with all the countries. "If negotiations launch in June I think they will be finished during 5-6 months", Melkonyan stated. The Deputy Minister informed that this agreement has significant importance of the aviation market as it envisages insurance of a certain level of openness and liberalization of the market. As a result of joining this agreement more liberal aviation regime will be established between Armenia and 28 countries of the EU, which will enjoy Armenia and EU airline companies. The document will lift the restrictions on the flights of foreign airline of Armenia and the Armenian ones to the EU countries. This will help offering conditions that are more attractive to European companies in Armenia and in the Armenian town of Gyumri. In addition, liberalization will ensure fair competition at the international level, through state support and regulation of standards.
By joining European Common Aviation Area Armenia will receive an opportunity to integrate into European aviation market, and become an important transit country in air transport.