The European Union and Armenia signed an agreement aimed at significantly deepening their relations at a ceremony in Brussels on Friday held on the sidelines of the Eastern Partnership Summit.
Signatures to the document entitled the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) were put by High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and Armenia’s Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian.
The signing ceremony took place in the presence of European Council President Donald Tusk and Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian.
In her remarks after the signing of the document Mogherini said that the CEPA “is based on our common commitment to democracy, human rights and rule of law.”
“This agreement is the first of this kind that is concluded with a party that is also a member of the Eurasian Economic Union. It will now be very important to implement it,” the EU’s foreign policy chief said.
The ceremony became one of the focal points of the EU’s Eastern Partnership summit that brought together the leaders of six Eastern European and South Caucasus nations in the Belgian capital on November 24.
Since the launch of the Eastern Partnership program in 2009 Russia has regarded it as a potential threat to its geopolitical interests in the post-Soviet territory.
In the case with Armenia, officials in both Yerevan and Brussels have repeatedly stated that the deal does not contradict Yerevan’s allied relations with Moscow or jeopardize the South Caucasus nation’s membership in the Eurasian Economic Union, a Russian-led trade bloc that also includes Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.