YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk commended Armenia on Friday for seeking to forge closer ties with the European Union under the bloc’s Eastern Partnership program which his country helped to launch last year.
“Armenia is investing a lot of energy and effort in that program,” Tusk said during a working visit to Yerevan that ended of his tour of the three South Caucasus states.
All of those countries as well as Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova have been included in the scheme that offers participants deeper integration with the EU in return for political and economic reforms. The Eastern Partnership was devised by Poland and Sweden in 2008 and approved by the 27-nation bloc in May last year.
Meeting with Tusk, President Serzh Sarkisian described the program as one of “the two main pillars” for strengthening relations between Armenia and Poland. The two countries are “developing on the basis of the same values,” he said, according to his office.
“I want to stress that Armenians and Poles have a lot of trust in each other,” Tusk told journalists after talks with his Armenian counterpart Tigran Sargsyan. He cited a long history of contacts between the two peoples.
The talks between the two premiers focused on ways of boosting the presently modest scale of Polish-Armenian economic relations. They resulted in the signing of an agreement on bilateral economic cooperation and promotion of mutual investments. The two governments will set up a joint commission for that purpose.
“We have reached agreements on concrete business projects that will be at the center of the inter-governmental commission’s attention,” said Sargsyan.
Tusk said the two sides have already identified “several areas of economic cooperation” such as chemical industry, manufacturing and energy. He said Poland is also interested in studying the Armenian experience of using nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.