YEREVAN, February 19. / ARKA /. Secretary of Armenia’s National Security Council, Arthur Baghdasaryan, has brushed aside today speculations that political cooperation between Armenia and the European Union has slashed.
Addressing a meeting of an inter-agency commission coordinating Armenia’s cooperation with European institutions he said the talk about declining relations between Armenia and the European Union are inconsistent with reality.
“We have developed an ambitious program of actions with the European Union including 180 events,” he was quoted as saying at the meeting.
According to him, the new program embraces five key areas - justice, freedom, security, political cooperation, economic and social reforms and infrastructure changes. He said major reforms in these sectors will progress relations between Armenia and the EU member states in different directions.
The meeting discussed and approved a draft plan of actions between Armenia and EU for 2014-2015
Baghdasaryan singled out EU-Armenia visa facilitation agreement effective from this year which aims to facilitate the issue of short-stay visas for an intended stay of no more than 90 days per period of 180 days.
The new rules make the procedures quicker (the decision are be taken within 10 days, in urgent cases two days or less), cheaper (the visa fee for processing applications of Armenian citizens is down to 35 euros) and less bureaucratic (the documents to be presented regarding the purpose of the journey have been simplified for some categories of persons, in particular for close relatives, members of official delegations, students, business people, journalists, scientists, etc).
There are also simplified criteria for issuing multiple-entry visas. Armenian citizens who are holders of diplomatic passports are exempted from the visa requirement for short stays. Armenia already exempts all EU citizens from the visa obligation since 10 January 2013.
Baghdasaryan said also Armenian entrepreneurs can already export to the EU 6000 types of goods with low or zero customs duties.-0-