A treaty on Armenia’s accession to the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan will be signed in late October, Armenian Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian said late on Thursday.
Abrahamian did not elaborate on the matter as he spoke with reporters about his recent visit to Russia before the weekly meeting of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia’s executive body.
The head of the Armenian government met with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev in Sochi on July 11. The focus of the talks was presumably Armenia’s bid to enter the EEU, but no specific date for the signing of the South Caucasus nation’s accession treaty was announced immediately.
Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan have agreed on establishing the EEU beginning on January 1, 2015 based on the customs union that the three post-Soviet countries have had since 2011. President Serzh Sarkisian had hoped that Armenia could join the Russian-led trade bloc by the time its transformation into the EEU was announced at a May 29 summit in Astana, but the presidents of the three member states only committed themselves to having the accession treaty with Yerevan drafted by July 1.
The delay stoked more speculation about certain differences among the three members of the customs union regarding Armenia’s membership bid.
Belarus and especially Kazakhstan do not seem to be enthusiastic about Armenia’s entry into their union. Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev publicly demanded at the Astana summit that the treaty in question make clear that Armenia is joining the EEU with its internationally recognized borders that do not include Nagorno-Karabakh. This presumably means that the Armenian government might have to start taxing goods imported from Karabakh.
Armenian officials, however, have ruled out such a possibility.