Outgoing EU ambassador hails Armenian reforms

Piotr Switalski, the outgoing head of the European Union representation to Armenia, has praised the efforts of prime minister Nikol Pashinyan and his government to fight corruption and maintain a “responsible” foreign policy course.

Speaking in an interview with RFE/RL’s Armenian service, the outgoing EU envoy said that Yerevan’s efforts to fight corruption and eliminate the grey economy have been successful. “The leadership of the country, the government, has demonstrated very clearly that they have the political will to combat corruption,” he told Azatutyun on August 26, adding that the government is creating a legislative and institutional framework that “combats corruption at different levels.”

Discussing foreign policy, Mr Switalski expressed his gratitude towards the government for maintaining “strong continuity” in bilateral relations which he called excellent. “I believe that Armenian foreign policy is pursued with a sense of responsibility and balance and open horizons,” he said, pointing to Mr Pashinyan’s ambitions to have good relations with both the EU and Russia.

He noted that Mr Pashinyan’s government remained committed to implementing the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA), Armenia’s bilateral agreement with the EU in the framework of the Eastern Partnership.

Touching on the so-called Velvet Revolution that brought the current Armenian PM to power back in 2018, the EU envoy told RFE/RL that the main difference he noticed was “the feeling of freedom” in the eyes of the Armenian people.