September 19, 2013 - 13:27 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The government of Armenia approved the project of implementation of preparatory activities for the accession to the Customs Union.
The project was submitted by Deputy Economy Minister Karine Minasyan, who reminded that last year, the Presidents of Armenia and Russia agreed to form a working group led by Prime Minister to discuss Yerevan’s cooperation with the Customs Union. As she noted, the focus was placed on the absence of a common border with the Customs Union.
As the official noted, a negotiation package has been formed, with seven working groups involved in the activities, Aysor.am said.
The Armenia-EU ties have cooled down following President Sargsyan’s voicing Armenia’s readiness to join Customs Union, with further plans to be involved in formation of Eurasian Economic Union.
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.