While Georgia signed an Association and Trade Agreement with the EU in Vilnius in November 2013, Armenia appeared to adhere to Russian influence in early September 2013 by announcing that it would prioritise Russian-led membership of the Eurasian Customs Union, apparently referring to its four-year talks with the EU on an association agreement (see below). President Sargisjan said that Armenia had previously questioned the need to join the customs union because Armenia did not share borders with other members, but had decided to join armenia to avoid “serious problems in deepening and expanding Armenia`s economic and cultural relations with its strategic partner”. He stressed that Armenia, which is a security partner with Russia, could not “isolate itself” from economic relations. Armenian Defence Minister Ohanyan was quoted as saying in the same way that Armenia had decided to join the Customs Union because of Armenia`s threatening security environment.32 Russian subsidies for gas delivered to Armenia would have entered into the decision (see below). On 18 September 2013, US MP Eliot Engel wrote a letter to Secretary Kerry expressing concern that Russia was trying to prevent Armenia and other Eurasian states from establishing relations with Europe. Georgian Prime Minister Garibashvili said in mid-January 2014 that Georgia was not economically so vulnerable to such pressures and that it was able to conclude and sign such an agreement (perhaps by August 2014, according to some reports). Several Azerbaijani lawmakers protested the conference agreement with H.R. 3288 (P.L. 111-117) to provide up to $8 million in humanitarian aid to NK. Some lawmakers and Azerbaijan`s official administration have reportedly offered to share this aid with those who had fled the region. In a statement from the Azerbaijani Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Foreign Ministry said that the aid “reduces confidence in the United States in Azerbaijan.” CEDR, December 16, 2009, doc.
CEP-950112; December 20, 2009, doc. CEP-95002; January 4, 2010, doc. CEP-950063; CSO Report, January 12, 2010. Azerbaijan and Turkey may have signed a strategic partnership and mutual assistance agreement in August 2010, reflecting the re-establishment of Azerbaijani and Turkish relations. The 10-year agreement provides that when one of the parties is attacked by a third country, the parties help each other.