The Armenian government on Thursday formally approved a draft accession treaty with the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) which President Serzh Sarkisian and his counterparts from Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan are expected to sign next week.
A government statement issued after a weekly meeting of Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian’s cabinet said Armenia will become a full member of the Russian-led bloc as soon as the treaty takes effect. “From that same moment the acts of the EEU bodies will be subject to execution in the territory of the Republic of Armenia,” said the statement.
The document will be on the agenda of the EEU’s next summit that will take place in Minsk on October 10. Barring last-minute objections from the Belarusian and Kazakh presidents, it should be signed by the heads of the EEU member states and Sarkisian.
Sarkisian hoped to seal the deal at an EEU summit held in Kazakhstan’s capital Astana in late May. Its signing was postponed due to apparent opposition from Belarus and Kazakhstan.
The Sarkisian administration has been facing more criticism from domestic opponents of Armenia’s membership in the union since publicizing the draft treaty last week. In particular, they say that it obligates Yerevan to set up customs checkpoints and start taxing goods imported from Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenian officials have been vague on this subject so far.
The treaty also lists more than 800 types of imported goods that will be exempted for the next several years from significantly higher customs duties set by the EEU.