Raising more questions about Armenia’s accession to the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian has announced the cancellation of a summit of ex-Soviet states which was due to discuss Yerevan’s membership bid.
“There was an agreement that the presidents will meet on July 3. But the meeting will not take place,” Abrahamian told reporters late on Thursday.
He did not clarify whether the meeting was due to involve the presidents of only Armenia and Russia or also the EEU’s two other member states: Belarus and Kazakhstan. The EEU’s most recent summit took place on May 29 and the leaders of three ex-Soviet states announced no plans to meet again this summer.
Abrahamian stressed the importance of the July 3 meeting last week when he commented on an increasingly obvious delay in Armenia’s accession process which President Serzh Sarkisian had hoped to complete this spring. “Things will be clear after the July 3 meeting,” the premier said on June 26.
“We don’t know the reasons [for the delay] but … we have fulfilled all of our obligations,” Abrahamian told reporters on Thursday. At the same time he expressed confidence that Armenia will join the EEU “before the end of this year.” “I see no political problems,” he said in reference to mounting speculation that Moscow is currently not interested in the quick signing of an accession treaty with Yerevan despite having forced the latter to abandon an Association Agreement with the European Union last year.
Abrahamian further announced that he will meet with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on July 11 to discuss this and other issues of mutual interest. “We will have an answer on my return,” he said. “I also know that the presidents of Armenia and Russia will meet in the future.”
Sarkisian and Russian President Vladimir Putin had a phone conversation on June 30. Sarkisian’s EEU membership bid was on the agenda, according to the Kremlin. In a speech delivered the following day, Putin expressed hope that Armenia will succeed in joining the Russian-dominated bloc “in the very near future.”