An agreement between Armenia and the European Union designed to deepen relations across an array of issues entered into force on March 1.
The European Union-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) represents an “important milestone” in relations between the two sides, the EU said.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the agreement “sends a strong signal” that the EU and Armenia are committed to supporting democratic principles, the rule of law, and a broad reform agenda.
“Across political, economic, trade, and other sectoral areas, our agreement aims to bring positive change to people’s lives, to overcome challenges to Armenia’s reforms agenda,” Borrell said in a statement.
The EU said the pact will strengthen ties on such issues as the economy, transport, digitalization, green energy, and the judicial system.
“The agreement plays an important role for the modernization of Armenia, in particular through legislative approximation to EU norms in many sectors,” it said.
Both sides signed the agreement in November 2017 and it was subsequently ratified by Armenia, all EU member states, and the European Parliament.
The agreement is a less ambitious alternative to an Association Agreement negotiated by Armenian and EU officials in 2013.
Former President Serzh Sarkisian unexpectedly scuttled that deal in 2013 after Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Yerevan.
Armenia went on to join the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) trade bloc in 2015.
CEPA does not include the removal of tariff barriers between Armenia and the EU due to Armenia’s membership in the EEU.