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EU Commissioner Opens Door To Armenian Association Agreement

BRUSSELS -- The EU commissioner for European neighborhood policy and enlargement has opened up the possibility of the European Union and Armenia signing an association agreement without its free-trade component.

Speaking on January 20 after a meeting Brussels with Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian, Johannes Hahn said that the EU ”should make best possible use of the already existing association agreement which we negotiated and safeguarded for future reference,” and added that it needs “to be adjusted in order to reflect the new context but the substance of its political part I hope should be kept.”

The EU and Armenia started negotiations on the agreement, including a free trade pact, in 2010. Yerevan was ready to sign it before the government shelved its plans in the autumn of 2013 and opted to join the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union instead.

Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine have all signed association agreements with the bloc, including its free-trade part.

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