By Hamlet Gasparian, Ambassador of Armenia
“20 years ago, the Armenian nation in its long history once again got an opportunity to gain its independence. We reached to that due to both the collapse of the former Soviet Union and especially the aspiration of freedom of our nation. On December 11 1991, Romania was one of the first countries to recognize the independence of the Republic of Armenia. A few days later, on December 17, the Agreement on establishment of diplomatic relations was signed in Bucharest on the level of Foreign ministers and intensive relationship was started between the two countries. The nature of such relations is not casual as there are centuries-old ties between Romanian and Armenian nations: we are strongly related to each other, we are close spiritually, historically and culturally.
Our bilateral cooperation is based on the solid legal framework; so far, over four dozen of intergovernmental agreements and treaties have been signed. In 2000 the Armenian-Romanian Intergovernmental Mixed Commission of Trade and Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation was created and on March of this year held its last session in Bucharest.
Though, because of different reasons, the existing opportunities in the sphere of economic relations are not used entirely, the bilateral trade volume has increased approximately six times by the results of the previous year. On September 8, we signed Program of Cooperation for 2011-2015 in the fields of culture, education and science that implies a large list of events.
We closely cooperate with Romania in the Black Sea region, within the framework of the BSEC, where during the Romanian Chairmanship in the first half of this year we discussed a number of important issues concerning the current challenges, as well as the future of the region and Europe.
We consider the gradually deepening cooperation within the framework of the European structures as one of the key points on the Armenian-Romanian agenda. The cooperation of Armenia with the European Union has always been and still remains one of the main directions of the foreign policy of the Republic of Armenia. It got a new meaning by the launching of the Eastern Partnership, on May 7, 2009, during the summit of 27 EU countries and 6 Eastern Partnership countries and governments in Prague. The EU proposes to sign the Association Agreement with us, the negotiations on which were launched on July 2010. In this regard, we notice and appreciate the attention and gravity that Romania has towards the development within the framework of Eastern Partnership, and we hope that with its recent experience of European integration it will contribute to the implementation of the goals outlined by that policy.
On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of independence of Armenia, I receive numerous greetings from our Romanian partners, statesmen and public figures, people from the fields of culture, education and science, as well as from ordinary citizens. I am sincerely grateful to everyone. I want to mention that during our relationship of these 20 years Armenia has always felt sympathy and respect of the Romanian nation, which is the guarantee of our mutual understanding and steadfast friendship.”