ArmInfo. The reputation of the European Union has significantly improved in Armenia after the EU decided to send an observation mission to Armenia. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan said in an interview with the Czech "Respekt" magazine.
He stressed that the perception of the European Union by the citizens of Armenia has changed dramatically, but this has nothing to do with what is happening in Ukraine. After the European observers were sent to Armenia, people realized that the Union cares about their safety. "In an emotional and political sense, this improved the reputation of the EU, although it was never perceived negatively," Pashinyan said. In this regard, he stressed that the EU is Armenia's main partner in the implementation of democratic reforms.
"If you were to ask citizens what are the biggest visible changes in Armenia, they would probably mention the creation of the patrol police. We are doing this in cooperation with the EU, and this year we are expecting the arrival of a new batch of "Skoda" cars in Armenia, so we have a very broad agenda in relations with the EU," he said.
Pashinyan recalled that after the 2021 elections, President of the European Council Charles Michel visited Armenia and promised 2.6 billion euros of support under the Eastern Partnership program. "We would like that process to go a little faster," the Prime Minister said.
Pashinyan also touched upon the topic of European sanctions against Russia, noting that due to the developments taking place in Ukraine and problems with logistics, many goods that were previously delivered directly to Russia are now purchased through Armenia, Kazakhstan and other countries. According to him, it is not only about changing routes, most European carriers refuse to cooperate directly with the Russian market. "Thus, new logistics routes were created, including through Armenia. But within the framework of the sanctions, we try to be as transparent as possible and work with the EU, the US, and even with Russia itself. We are members of the EAEU and have very close economic ties with Russia. Where there are market niches, we are happy to meet Russian demand. But sanctions are our red line. And we say this very clearly to the Russians: "We don't want to hurt you, but we cannot afford to be punished," Pashinyan said, noting that there is no secret that exports to Russia from Armenia are growing, including for the re-export of European goods.