Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 28
By Sabina Ahmadova - Trend:
New format of EU-Armenia cooperation requires Armenia to seriously fight corruption, the article posted on PR Newswire website said on Nov. 28.
The article said that ahead of the Vilnius Summit on the EU's Eastern Partnership (EaP), one impression is that a huge possibility has been lost for the EU to strengthen ties with its eastern neighbours.
According to the article, this is exemplified by the situation in Armenia and Ukraine.
"Serzh Sargsyan announced that Armenia would join the Russian-led Customs Union. Therewith, negotiations on an Association Agreement with the EU were off the table," the article said.
The article noted that despite several important achievements, many obstacles for economic cooperation outside the scope of Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements (DCFTAs) - which require democratic and market reforms - remain, and one of these obstacles, especially with view to Armenia, is the level of government corruption.
The renowned think tank of the Armenian diaspora in Washington, Policy Forum Armenia has recently published a report titled Corruption in Armenia, according to which the country's situation creates some concerns.
"Corruption threatens to destroy Armenia's economy and remains one of the major problems in the Caucasus republic," the report said.
The member of the Policy Forum Armenia executive board, Zaven Kalayjian identifies the lack of interests of government elites in public opinion as the key problem. According to him, the corruption in Armenia directly benefits the very top layers of the country's ruling regime.
Kalayjian noted that the political decisions are made in favour of corrupt elites rather than in favour of the Armenian citizens.