Armenia will not start collecting any customs duties from goods imported from Nagorno-Karabakh after joining Russia’s Eurasian Economic Union with Belarus and Kazakhstan, a senior Armenian official reiterated on Monday.
Parliament speaker Galust Sahakian insisted what Karabakh will be a “de facto” part of the newly economic bloc whose members have to set uniform import duties for the vast majority of goods produced in third countries.
“As a customs territory, Karabakh will have the same status as it has today,” he said. “So there can be no customs posts on [Armenia’s] border with Karabakh.”
“In terms of external turnover and investments, things in Karabakh will be the same as in Armenia,” Sahakian told reporters.
The remarks came less than a week after Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev, citing the need to address Azerbaijan’s concerns, demanded that the forthcoming accession treaty with Yerevan stipulate that Armenia is joining the Eurasian Economic Union with its internationally recognized borders. Such a provision could make it much harder for Armenia to avoid taxing goods coming from Karabakh.
President Serzh Sarkisian rejected Nazarbayev’s precondition over the weekend. He argued that Armenia never aspired to officially joining the union together with Karabakh.
“Of course Nagorno-Karabakh will not be joining the Customs Union because it has not been de jure recognized as a state by the outside world,” confirmed Sahakian.