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Armenia may join Customs Union, Eurasian Economic Union

July 12, 2012, 7:04 UTC+3

Matviyenko urged Armenia to speed up its accession to the CIS free trade zone agreement

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YEREVAN, July 12 (Itar-Tass) — Armenia may join the Customs Union and the Eurasian Economic Union, Russian Federation Council Chairperson Valentina Matviyenko said after a meeting with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan.

“They asked for ‘road maps’,” Matviyenko said, adding that in Sargsyan’s words, Armenia does not rule out participation in other European bodies as well.

In the autumn, the Armenian parliament will debate ratification of the CIS free trade zone agreement and the agreement on military bases in the member states of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation.

Sargsyan explained a delay in the consideration of these documents by parliamentary elections that were held in Armenia on May 6. “Both documents will be submitted for ratification in September,” Matviyenko said.

Matviyenko urged Armenia to speed up its accession to the CIS free trade zone agreement.

This agreement “creates conditions for invigorated trade and economic cooperation”, Matviyenko said at a meeting with the chairman of the National Assembly of Armenia, Ovik Abramyan, on Wednesday, July 11.

She also said that the agreement had been signed “subject to WTO rules and therefore does not obstruct accession to the Organisation”.

Abramyan assured her that this issue would be considered shortly.

Matviyenko also noted the issue of Eurasian integration. “We could discuss this issue between the parliaments in order to find a way to engage Armenia ion these processes harmoniously,” she said.

Matviyenko stressed that Eurasian integration “does not contradict European integration” and said that although Eurasian integration is Russia’s foreign policy priority, the European Union accounts for 50 percent of its foreign trade turnover.

The CIS free trade zone agreement was signed on October 18, 2011 in St. Petersburg by the heads of government from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Moldova, and Kyrgyzstan. Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan did not sign the document but said they would join in.

The Eurasian Economic Community consists of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan. Armenia is an observer.

The Supreme Eurasian Economic Council includes Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

A new comprehensive Eurasian Union treaty is expected to be signed by January 1, 2015. 

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