Armenia and the European Union (EU) on Friday released a joint statement within the framework of the EU Eastern Partnership Summit being held in Lithuanian capital city Vilnius. The statement speaks vaguely of further co-operation but indicates that work to turn this into substance may have to start from scratch.
The statement says:
"The EU and Armenia enjoy close links and reconfirm their commitment to further develop and strengthen comprehensive cooperation in all areas of mutual interest within the Eastern Partnership framework.
Based on common values, both sides are committed to further cooperation aimed at the continuous improvement of democratic institutions and judiciary, the promotion of human rights and rule of law, good governance, the fight against corruption, the strengthening the civil society, the further improvement of the framework for enhanced trade and investments, the continued implementation of the mobility partnership and increased sectoral cooperation.
Based on their common endeavour to build upon the existing framework of cooperation, the EU and Armenia stress the importance of revisiting the basis for their relations.
The EU and Armenia acknowledge that they have completed negotiations on an Association Agreement, including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area, but will not proceed with its initialling due to Armenia's new international commitments. They agree on the need to update the EU-Armenia ENP Action Plan".
Armenia is marking the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the first Republic in May 1918. Alexandre Petrossian, a young political analyst based in Yerevan, reflects on the difficulties encountered by the founding fathers, and the achievements of the first republic