The world economic crisis will not hinder the rightly planned Eastern Partnership programme. The European Union does not want any changes in the formula of talks about solving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict – these are the conclusions after the visit of Catherine Ashton in the South Caucasus.
High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of the EU, Catherine Ashton, during her visit to the South Caucasus assured: “Regardless of the fact that all countries around the world are undergoing economic crisis just like European countries, Europe wants to keep its promises and maintain good mutual relations. These relations are not based only on financial aspects but also on cooperation in many other fields.”
At the same time, Catherine Ashton stated that the world crisis will not affect the level of financing the Eastern Partnership programme. In the interview given to Armenian media, she said that the European Union will support the actions of the Minsk Group for solving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and does not want changes of the formula of its functioning. This dispels the doubts regarding the stand of the EU when it comes to the current formula of tri-lateral work (the US, France, Russia) of the OSCE group created for solving the territorial conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia (we wrote about the potential changes in the functioning of the Minsk Group in July 2011). Ashton informed that in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict Brussels sees its role in building mutual trust in the region, especially between the conflicted parties.
The High Representative emphasised the meaning of economic relations between the countries of the region and the European Union. According to her, signing and taking into effect the DCFTA agreements will considerably improve the economic relations between the Union and the South Caucasus, and allow for dynamic development of small and medium enterprises.