President Serzh Sarkisian will attend Thursday’s meeting of his counterparts from Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus but is unlikely to sign their anticipated agreement to create a Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union, it emerged on Wednesday.
The new alliance will replace and deepen their existing Customs Union which Armenia decided to join last year. Yerevan’s membership talks with the three other ex-Soviet states were due to be completed last month but dragged on for still unclear reasons.
Sarkisian’s office announced that the Armenian leader will fly to Kazakhstan’s capital Astana later on Wednesday to take part in the summit. But it gave no details of his participation.
Speaking to journalists, Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian said that Sarkisian does not plan to sign any documents in Astana. “If something was going to be signed there, we would have made an announcement,” he said.
Sarkisian skipped the last Customs Union summit that was held in Minsk on April 29. The reasons for the no-show are also unknown.
Deputy Economy Minister Karine Minasian told the Regnum news agency on Sunday that the Yerevan’s negotiations with the union are still not over. She said the Astana summit should shed light on the likely date for Armenia’s accession to the Russian-led bloc.