ArmInfo. On December 13-14, Brussels will host the fifth round of negotiations on the new Armenia-EU framework agreement. The sides have reached consensus on the major part of items regarding trade and investments, Armenian Deputy Minister of Economy Garegin Melkonyan said in Yerevan on December 7.
The deputy minister said that the Yerevan-Brussels talks are proceeding dynamically. 4 negotiation rounds have passed: two rounds were held in Yerevan and in Brussels, with the other two organized via video calls. Melkonyan said that the Ministry has done a huge job and agreed more than half of the 12-13 items regarding trade and investments. Issues related to measures of protection of intellectual property rights, provision of subsidies, as well as sanitary and phytosanitary control and economic competition are still to be negotiated.
The next meeting of the negotiators will take place on Dec 13-14 in Brussels. Melkonyan said that all the issues are addressed with due regard for the requirements of the local legislation and Armenia's commitments to the third countries.
As regards the dates of signing of the new Armenia-EU framework agreement, Melkonyan said that he himself puts the focus on the core of the agreement, especially the "sensitive" items for Armenia and local business rather than on the dates of signing. Nevertheless, he noted that the signing of the document is in the offing.
On October 24, Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Switalski said in Yerevan that the political part had been covered to a certain extent and the negotiations focused on the trade and investment aspect. The Ambassador stressed that the progress was obvious.
Yerevan and Brussels were to initial AA/DCFTA in November 2013, however, in September 2013 Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan announced Armenia's intention to join the Eurasia Economic Union. Many analysts explained this U- turn with pressure exerted by Moscow, but Yerevan has not admitted it.
On October 12, 2015, in Luxembourg, the Council authorized the European Commission and the High Representative to open negotiations on a new, legally binding and overarching agreement with Armenia, and adopted the corresponding negotiating mandate. This agreement will replace the current EU-Armenia partnership and cooperation agreement. The EU is committed to further develop and strengthen comprehensive cooperation with Armenia in all areas of mutual interest within the Eastern Partnership framework. On December 7, 2015, at the EU Headquarters in Brussels, Edward Nalbandian, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Armenia and Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Vice- President of the Commission, announced the launch of negotiations on a new Armenia-European Union framework agreement. The first round of the talks was held in Brussels on Feb 16.