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Armenia Reaches New Political Agreement With EU

  • RFE/RL

Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian (left) meets with European Council President Donald Tusk while in Brussels on February 27.

Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian (left) meets with European Council President Donald Tusk while in Brussels on February 27.

BRUSSELS -- The European Union and Armenia have agreed on a new pact tightening political ties, more than three years after Yerevan walked away from a more far-reaching political and commercial deal with the EU to join the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union.

Talks on the agreement concluded during a visit to Brussels by Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian on February 27.

It is expected to be signed later this year, possibly in May.

Armenia negotiated an Association Agreement that included a free-trade deal with the EU in 2013, only to make a U-turn that same year and reject it under pressure from Moscow.

The negotiations on a new agreement with the EU started in December 2015.

It is less ambitious than the agreement that was abandoned in 2013, most notably lacking a free trade area component -- which Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine now have as part of their agreements with the EU. But it will upgrade political relations between Brussels and Yerevan, which are currently based on a Partnership and Cooperation agreement that entered into force in 1999.

Armenia's fierce rival, Azerbaijan, started talks on a new political agreement with the EU earlier this month.

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