By Jamila Babayeva
Yerevan's intention to join the Russia-led European Economic Union (EEU) will slow down the process of restoring Armenia-EU relations.
"The process of restoring relations with Armenia is linked to other talks that the country is engaged in at the moment," Head of the EU delegation to Armenia Traian Hristea told journalists. "The process is not an action that can be started today and finished tomorrow."
Armenia's decision to join the Russia-led economic union has led the authorities to cancel an earlier decision to ratify the Association Agreement with the EU in November 2013. The EU expressed regret over Armenia's decision, which has strained relations between the two sides.
Armenia is expected to join the EEU by July 1, 2014.
Hristea asserted that the process primarily depends on the Armenian authorities, the Armenian civil society organizations, as well as EU institutions and each of the 28 EU member states.
"Taking into account the internal debates in each of the states, we can say that the process requires a long period of time," Hristea said.
The Armenian society does not warmly welcome the country's entrance to the EEU. Local experts believe that Armenia's joining to the Russia-led union is a serious threat to its independence and statehood.
The authorities see the country's economic survival in joining the union. However, Armenia's entrance to the union is still considered impossible due to its occupation of Azerbaijan's internationally recognized territories.
So, Armenia has turned away from the European Union waiting for membership approval from the Russia-led union. The union members are still reluctant towards Armenia's membership request. So, Armenia is likely to stay offside in this case.
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