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Matviyenko proposes synchronised ratification of Armenia’s accession to EaEU

July 08, 2014, 0:04 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, July 07. /ITAR-TASS/. Valentina Matviyenko, Chairperson of the Federation Council, upper house of Russian parliament, suggested synchronising the ratification of Armenia’s accession to the Eurasian Economic Union (EaEU) by the Russian and Armenian parliaments once such an agreement is reached by the governments.

“I think that when all agreements have been reached by the executive branch, it would be very important to synchronise our actions at the parliamentary level to complete the national ratification procedures for this treaty [of accession to the EaEU],” Matviyenko said at a meeting with Armenian parliament speaker Galust Saakyan on Monday, July 7.

“I promise that we will do everything quickly within the assigned time period,” she assured her Armenian colleague.

At a meeting with State Duma (lower house of parliament) Speaker Sergei Naryshkin earlier in the day, Saakyan expressed hope that Russia would provide assistance with the signing and ratification of the treaty.

He said Armenia had met all the conditions set forth in the roadmap for accession to the Eurasian Economic Union. Saakyan believes that Armenia’s participation in the EaEU and the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia will create new mutually advantageous prospects for their member states.

On September 3, 2013, after talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Sargsyan announced that the “Republic of Armenia will join the Customs Union and will take practical steps to this end and will subsequently participate in forming the Eurasian Economic Union”.

At their summit in Moscow on December 24, 2013, the presidents of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Armenia approved an accession roadmap, which said that the treaty on Armenia’s accession to the Customs Union would be ready by May 2014.

Preliminary results of implementation by Armenia of the roadmap for accession to the Customs Union were reported to the presidents of the member states at a meeting of the Eurasian Economic Commission on March 5, 2014.

The Customs Union between Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan was established on December 19, 2009, in Almaty, Kazakhstan, where the leaders of the three states - Dmitry Medvedev, Alexander Lukashenko, and Nursultan Nazarbayev - signed the Joint Statement on its founding. The first phase of the Customs Union’s functioning began on January 1, 2010, with the introduction of a uniform customs tariff.

The Customs Union’s highest bodies are the Interstate Councils of the heads of states and governments of its members. Its joint permanent governing body is the Customs Union Commission.

The Customs Union formation envisages creation of a common customs territory where no customs duties or economic restrictions will apply, save for special protective, anti-dumping and compensatory measures. Within the Customs Union, a uniform customs tariff and other uniform measures regulating the commodity trade with third nations will be applied.

The parliaments of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia will simultaneously ratify the treaty on the creation of the Eurasian Economic Union (EaEU) this autumn, Naryshkin said earlier.

President Putin expressed hope that the agreement on the creation of the Eurasian Economic Union would become effective from January 2015.

The supranational body, the European Economic Commission, will continue to operate from Moscow. The single financial regulator of the Eurasian Economic Union will be set up in Astana, capital of Kazakhstan, by 2025.

Common markets of oil, petroleum products and gas of the three countries will also start operating no later than 2025, and a common electricity market slightly earlier.

The common goal of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan is to move on to a higher level of cooperation, which should be facilitated by the new union, Putin said at a summit of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council on Wednesday, March 5.

The institutional part of the agreement should determine the legal status and organisational framework of the union, and lay down the main principles of its work.

Putin stressed the need to guarantee “four freedoms”: free movement of goods, services, capital and labour among the member states. “It is important to set forth concrete obligations to eliminate exclusions and limitations remaining in the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space,” Putin said.

He believes that the European Economic Union needs to be granted broad powers in the field of economic regulation. “This will allow [us] to carry out a common and coordinated policy in key industries, raise the sustainability and development potential of the national economies, create a large common market and bring in additional investments,” the head of state said.

Putin noted that integration was already paying off. “Despite the overall economic slowdown in the world, trade turnover between the three countries in 2013 did not decrease but on the contrary grew to 64.1 billion U.S. dollars,” he said.

The structure of mutual trade improved: the share of resources decreased while the share of goods with a high added value increased. Putin recalled that entrepreneurs were actively engaged in this work and co-authored many decisions.

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