Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian told senior government officials on Tuesday to prevent any delays in the implementation of an action plan for Armenia’s accession to the Russian-led Customs Union.
Sarkisian met with the heads of ad hoc “working groups” set up by the Armenian government to discuss measures stemming from a membership “roadmap” agreed with Russia and the union’s two other member states: Belarus Kazakhstan. A statement by the government’s press office said they briefed him on legislative and administrative changes planned as part of the process.
“Tigran Sarkisian instructed the representatives of state agencies to organize their work in a way that will rule out any deviation from the defined timetable and, in case of the emergence of problems, present them at periodical meetings,” the statement said. It gave no further details.
The “roadmap” was approved by the presidents of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan as well as their Armenian counterpart, Serzh Sarkisian, at a December 24 summit in Moscow. Dozens of Armenian economic laws and regulations are due to be amended and brought into conformity with the Customs Union’s legislation as a result. This process is expected to be complete by May, in time for the trade bloc’s transformation into a Eurasian Economic Union.
Tigran Sarkisian had repeatedly spoken out against Armenian membership of the union before President Sarkisian’s unexpected decision last August to join it. The prime minister defended the volte-face at a news conference held late last month. He said joining the Russian-led alliance will create “grounds for sustainable economic growth” in Armenia.
The premier cited no figures or growth estimates to back up his assurances, however. His cabinet has made no upward revisions of its mid-term economic growth forecasts as a consequence of the Armenian foreign policy U-turn.