In reference to the statement made by the Customs Union member-country leaders in Minks, the Armenian authorities keep claiming that Armenia will not lose its sovereignty by joining that structure.
“We are not going to become an appendix of some country, but rather going to create favorable situations,” says vice-chairman of the ruling Republican party Galust Sahakyan, claiming that whatever is not beneficial for Armenia, will not be accepted.
On Thursday, at the session of the Customs Union (CU) executive body – the Eurasian Highest Economic Council – Belarus president Alexander Lukashenko said that Armenia should cross the same integration path as Kazakhstan, Beralus and Russia and make all the commitments without exceptions. This statement has stirred controversy because Armenia has no direct borders with any of the CU member-counties, hence its membership has to be in a different format.
Lukashenko said at the same time that by joining the CU countries lose part of their sovereignty.
Political analyst, Caucasus Institute deputy director Sergey Minasyan told ArmeniaNow that the contradictory and vague statements by the CU member-country presidents do not refer directly to Armenia, but rather to the ambiguity of that structure.
“Lukashenko says Armenia should assume all the liabilities without exception, which is absolutely impossible. The same format of membership for Armenia with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan is simply impossible because the three are exporter countries, while Armenia is an importer. Armenia cannot adopt the same format for the lack of common border, and especially because that border passes through Georgia, which is going to be a part of the free comprehensive European economic area,” says Minasyan.
As for the Armenian authorities’ secrecy around the whole CU deal and its ambiguity, Minasyan says the country leadership does not know much about what is actually happening and is unwilling to accelerate the process.
“Because it is unclear whether the CU would actually become an economic and political reality, or whether it was just a project aimed at resisting the EU, etc,” he says adding that forcing Armenia into the CU had one goal – to hamper the inking of the Association Agreement with the EU in Vilnius and show who is the ‘chief’ in the post-soviet area.
“The result is contrary to the expected: Russia appeared as a country whose forcing power was enough only for one country which wasn’t even trying to sever relations with its strategic partner Russia as its security warrantor and had already been in great dependence from it in that very sphere,” he says.