YEREVAN, May 13. / ARKA /. Armenia should be fully associated with the EU, the visiting French President Francois Hollande said today in Yerevan during a joint press conference with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan.
He said Armenia’s decision to join the Russia-led Customs Union was prompted by the fact that it is in special geopolitical conditions.
“I do not blame it (for reversing its decision to sign an association agreement with the European Union). I try to understand its position also during this visit and also to understand what kind of answer the EU may give,” said Hollande.
Hollande stressed that he would like to see a full-fledged association between Armenia and the EU because it is also wanted by Yerevan and because it stems from its interests.
"I do not want to force Armenia to terminate economic ties with Russia, and therefore I should back its position within the EU for the latter to realize that Armenia lives in exceptional circumstances and the EU should offer special conditions for Armenia’s rapprochement with Europe," said Hollande .
According to Serzh Sargsyan, Armenia would like to get a special association offer from the European Union. Sargsyan said a membership in the Customs Union does not mean Armenia suspends or closes its relations with the European Union.
The Armenian President stressed that Yerevan will continue to deepen its relations with the European Union , since these relations allow it not only to return to its r roots , but also to implement effective reforms.
On Armenian-Russian relations, Sargsyan said both countries are bound by 250 year-old friendly relations and for a long time they lived in one country, in one state and they are bound by cultural and economic ties as well.
He said Armenia's desire to join the Customs Union was not a surprise as economic ties between several former Soviet republics are at a very high level. He also recalled two bilateral treaties of friendship and Armenia’s membership in the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).
He said a Customs Union membership will enable Armenia to import energy carriers at competitive prices to boost its own economy. -0-