The EU and Armenia have signed the framework agreement. The intrigue lasting for several months ended. Were the risks that the agreement would not be signed real or not? Did they exist or was Serzh Sargsyan playing a game to oversell the signing? It is rather hard to get answers to these questions. At the same time, they are already past and the key actual fact is that Armenia has signed a framework agreement with the EU. And the fact that it is not an Association Agreement and does not contain the provisions that were in the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement does not bring the role and importance of the agreement down.
Moreover, it may sound strange but the 2013 agreement would be important for Armenia, as well as the EU, for its political and security aspect rather than the free trade aspect. In fact, currently the Armenian economy cannot benefit from this component for years to come, it requires a long stage of modernization. Consequently, it is not a big shortcoming, especially that we enjoy GSP+ with the EU which opens the EU market for several thousands of brands produced in Armenia.
The EU-Armenia agreement, both in 2013 and now, is important for its political, military-political, systemic, civilization component and there is enough content in the current agreement from this point of view to serve the development of Armenia.
Currently the question is the pace, dynamics, speed of implementation of the agreement. It is highly important how the Armenian public commits to the agreement to assume responsibility, not to look at it as part of the political plan of Serzh Sargsyan.
Hence, the EU-Armenia agreement de facto establishes a new ambitious and responsible bar for the development of Armenia. Perhaps, it will not be an exaggeration to say that starting from November 25 the political and civil adequacy of Armenia will be measured to this bar. It is not just its provisions but the political and military-political importance.
And it should not be exaggerated that the EU-Armenia agreement will have a bigger and deeper importance for the Caucasus than for the EU-Georgia Association Agreement. The problem is not the comparison and the agreement with Armenia completes what has been signed between the EU and Georgia.
Moreover, the EU-Armenia agreement supports the EU-Georgia agreement which, in its turn, completes the new security system in the Caucasus or reinforces significantly the wall that needs to be built with the help of Armenia and Georgia.
The signing of the EU-Armenia agreement records the collapse of the USSR in the Caucasus, which was composed with geopolitical consensus, which in its turn was determined by a series of realities stemming from the April war.
The agreement signed in Brussels finalized the collapse of the USSR in the Caucasus and the status quo established by the Russian-Turkish agreements. At the same time, the agreement means breaking through the Turkish-Azerbaijani blockade in a political, not physical meaning. And the purpose of the blockade has been political isolation of Armenia.
The importance of Armenia role in the region is that it is the only country with a positive political-military balance, and at the same time the architect and watch of the post-soviet status quo. Hence, no process in the Caucasus can have a fundamental strategic prospect as long as it bypasses Armenia. This is an objective reality which Armenia has been trying to avoid since forming this reality until the April war when it had to fight for existence and automatically took over the role it has in the region.
At the same time, this is an obliging role because every mistake that Armenia makes, every shortcoming and hesitation will eventually have a more serious consequence. This concerns the implementation of the EU-Armenia agreement too. Not only the future of Armenia depends on this. A parasitic attitude to the new situation and agreement will cost the ruling system in Armenia more expensive than the years of parasitic existence when the time and resources of the Armenian state were wasted.