September 11, 2013 - 15:08 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Eurasian Economic Commission Trade Minister Andrei Slepnev thinks that Armenia will be one of the co-founders of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).
“We all should work hard to co-found the EEU, as it’s a very ambitious task,” Slepnev said, adding that Armenia’s decision to join the Customs Union arouses some technical issues that should be settled.
“The most important factor is the political will and the decision on further integration,” he said. “To join the Customs Union, Armenia should adapt the national legislation. However, we have enough experience to resolve the problems that can emerge.”
According to Slepnev, the report of Armenia’s joining the Customs Union could be prepared in the framework of the Supreme Economic Council on Sept 25.
During a Sept 3 meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, President Sargsyan said Armenia is ready to join Customs Union, with further plans to be involved in formation of Eurasian Economic Union, thus arousing indignation of European officials.
However, later the European Commission said that the Association Agreement (including a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area) with Armenia can be compatible with economic cooperation with the members of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
When in St. Petersburg to attend the G20 summit, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said that Armenia, Moldova, and, if possible, Ukraine will hopefully sign the Association Agreement at the Vilnius Summit in November 2013.
“This is a political agreement. The Agreement would allow Armenia to go through comprehensive change both politically and economically. Therefore, after getting the news about Armenia’s plans of joining the Custom’s Union the EU expects to hear from Armenia what her further plans are. We have not received official explanations from Armenia, yet we don’t think this is a zero sum game and the same refers to Ukraine. Some benchmarks will be necessary to meet. There are some outstanding issues but we hope to see results in Vilnius. We are still engaged with these countries and still expect to sign the Association Agreements,” he said.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for Stefan Fule, the European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy, said that the European Parliament is not going to initialize either the Associated Agreement or the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area with Armenia, as it’s not compatible with membership in the Customs Union.