Mr. Schmidt is one of those diplomats who continues to visit Armenia after the completion of his diplomatic mission, delivering lectures on different topics.
- What do you think, Armenia is more eastern or western country?
- Armenia is one of the countries with European civilization. It is also seen from the number of tourists coming to Armenia from different European countries to make researches in the field of Christianity. Undoubtedly, Christianity is the cultural treasury of your country. Despite all the difficulties, Armenians have succeeded in maintaining that culture. You are also a homogeneous country, which means that you have very few problems and clashes with national minorities, their language and religion. From time to time some countries make it a subject of criticism, but if you look at that question historically, you will see that you have created your own "Noah's Ark".
For example, many people in Germany, including my son, know this story and think that Ararat is in Armenia. I am telling my son that it is unfortunately now in Turkey.
- At what stage is Armenia now in the framework of Eastern Partnership?
- Certainly, Armenia has made great progress. The vivid evidence of this was the signing of the Armenia-EU agreement last year. In fact, the cooperation between the two sides is very important. The direction of development is right. Armenia succeeded to be a member of the Eurasian Union on the one hand, and on the other hand, to sign the agreement with the European Union.
On the same day, the sides also signed Common Aviation Area agreement, the main goal of which is the availability of affordable air tickets which will enable Armenia to have more tourists from European countries.
And recently, if I am not mistaken, about two weeks ago, your Foreign Minister and the Vice-President of the EU's Foreign and Security Policy have signed a new agreement related to the areas in which the European Union sees development potential and can make investments.
- What do you think Armenia can give to the European Union and vice versa what the EU can offer Armenia?
- I hope that owing to this agreement Armenians will be able to create an environment in the country that will enable Europe to make more investments here. Your ambassador conducts active work in the field of IT. I also consider very important the presence of the German Economic Union (DWV) in Armenia, which contributes to the development of Armenian-German business cooperation. The latter often organizes IT specialists' visit to Germany.
- Why do you think some European Union countries are skeptical about the cooperation in the frames of the Eastern Partnership?
- The European Union consists of different countries, each of which has its own interests. As for the Eastern Partnership, it should not be forgotten that the two countries, Poland and Sweden, had a unified initiative and that one of those countries was one of the oldest in the European Union and the other was new.
- What do you miss in Armenia?
- I always felt good in Armenia. I enjoy the family atmosphere here. I have been lucky to have been hosted by several Armenian families with whom I still have good relations.