ArmInfo.The EU is one of Armenia's key partners in the implementation of ambitious reforms. Acting Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia Mher Grigoryan announced on July 9 in Yerevan during a briefing with European Union Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi.
Opening the briefing, the Armenian official said that the previous evening he had a fruitful meeting with Varhelyi, and already today effective negotiations between the European Commissioner and acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan were held..
Grigoryan informed that within the framework of the visit, an exchange of views took place on the current substantive active agenda of cooperation between Armenia and the European Union and its further development.
According to the Deputy Prime Minister, the talks also touched upon the difficult challenges of 2020, in particular, the large-scale military aggression of Azerbaijan against Artsakh, as well as the coronavirus pandemic. "I would like to say that Armenia is grateful to the EU for its assistance both in the fight against the pandemic and the humanitarian aid provided to our compatriots who have suffered as a result of large-scale military aggression.
The grave humanitarian consequences of large-scale military aggression and the steps we are taking to mitigate their consequences in the post-conflict period were also presented, "Grigoryan said.
In this vein, he once again stressed Armenia's commitment to an exclusively peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, within the framework of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairmanship.
"As a priority, they indicated the importance of the immediate return of prisoners of war and civilians held in Azerbaijan - without preconditions, in accordance with international humanitarian law and on the basis of obligations within the framework of the trilateral statement of November 9, 2020," the Armenian official said.
At the same time, Grigoryan stressed that despite the challenges facing Armenia, the country consistently continues the path of democratic reforms.
"The EU is one of Armenia's key partners in the implementation of ambitious reforms. In this regard, I would also like to touch upon the Armenia-EU Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA), which has been ratified by all countries and is at the stage of full implementation. Which is very important," said the acting Deputy Prime Minister.
He also drew attention to the fact that a complete roadmap for the implementation of CEPA has been approved, consisting of almost 300 events covering all sectors of life.
Stressing Armenia's commitment to ensure democracy, the rule of law, and human rights, Grigoryan expressed his conviction that the effective implementation of the agreement will play an important role in the continuation of reforms.
"We also touched upon cooperation between Armenia and the EU within the framework of the Eastern Partnership program. The program is entering a new 5-year stage and a number of events are planned," he said, in this context expressing gratitude to the EU for providing 1.6 billion euros of assistance for implementation various projects. According to the acting Deputy Prime Minister, the EU appreciates the progress registered by Armenia on the path of implementation of reforms.
"A striking example of this is that Armenia is the country that has received the largest amount of assistance in the South Caucasus. The assistance will cover five key areas: assistance to small and medium-sized businesses, the implementation of the North-South project, assistance to the socio-economic development of the southern regions of Armenia, stimulating the digital agenda and innovation, and developing Yerevan as a green and smart city.
We also consider it important to note that in addition to the planned cooperation within the framework of the Eastern Partnership, we are also completing the framework of our annual programs for 2021-2027, where we focus on measures for socio-economic recovery and increasing the resilience of the RA economy, sustainable development, etc.", Grigoryan noted.
In conclusion, he informed that during the discussions with the European Commissioner, the importance of contacts between people was emphasized, in this context the importance of starting a dialogue between Armenia and the EU on the liberalization of the visa regime was emphasized.