The next Eastern Partnership summit will kick off in Brussels on November 24 . For once, it will be of special importance for Armenia as the sides are expected to sign a Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement.
How it all started
The Eastern Partnership, presented by the Foreign Ministers of Sweden and Poland in 2008, aims at building a common area of democracy, prosperity, stability and cooperation between the EU and six countries: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
The EU invited some countries, among them Armenia, to conclude an Association Agreement, which was to be initialed, and ratified by the parties. Armenia and the EU entered into negotiations on the Association Agreement, including the establishment of a deep and comprehensive free trade area back in July 2010.
Armenia announced its accession to the Customs Union in September 2013 and refused to conclude an agreement with the EU. Despite the refusal, EU decided to develop further relations with Yerevan. On 12 October 2015 the Foreign Affairs Council authorized the European Commission and the High Representative to open negotiations on a new, legally binding and overarching agreement with Armenia, and adopted the corresponding negotiating mandate. Negotiations on the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement were successfully concluded on 26 February 2017.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov does not feel excessive optimism about the possibility of a quick settlement of the Karabakh conflict.
At a joint news conference with Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian, the Russian minister recalled that during his visit to Baku he had already noted the presence of all the components necessary for the settlement.
The elements are on the negotiations table, the components are formed into a package, and it is difficult to take one, two or three and to agree on them. Lavrov said in this case the balancing elements fall out and there will not be the desired result.
Russian Foreign Minister emphasized that it is already good that the presidents spoke positively about the results of the meeting in Geneva. But it is important that this help move forward, Lavrov added.
The Russian minister noted that now the Russian co-chair together with the American and French colleagues in the OSCE Minsk Group will analyze the situation. However, the minister stressed that he would not have expressed excessive optimism. This is a complex problem, and the negotiations will not end quickly, Lavrov resumed.
Armenia's survey for seismic protection agency on Friday recorded an earthquake in Azerbajian at 17:27 local time, 20 km north- west of Ahchaberd town.
The seismic activity measured magnitude 5-6 at the epicenter.
The earthquake was felt over southeast of Armenia and the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh Republic/NKR), where it measured magnitude 3-4 and 3, respectively.
STEPANAKERT. – The relatively quiet operative situation along the line of contact between the Karabakh and Azerbaijani opposing forces has remained unchanged, from November 12 to 18.
But during this time, the Azerbaijani armed forces violated the ceasefire more than 200 times by firing about 2,500 shots toward the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh Republic/NKR) military positions, and with shooting weapons, informed the Artsakh Ministry of Defense (MOD).
The NKR Defense Army vanguard units, however, continue dictating the situation at the frontline and confidently carrying out their military task.