September 23, 2013 - 18:16 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan met Monday, Sept 23, with his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko on the sidelines of the meeting of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) leaders in Sochi.
The two men voiced support to Russia’s position on the resolution of the Syrian crisis.
“Armenia stands for the soonest resolution of the conflict on the basis of international dialogue. We welcome the agreement achieved between Russia and the United States,” President Sargsyan said.
As to Armenia’s intention to join the Russia-led Customs Union, the Belarusian leader vowed assistance to the process. “If Armenia decides to join the Union, Belarus will never be against. On the contrary, we will support the process for the soonest accomplishment of all necessary procedures,” he said.
Armenia completed technical talks on a ‘deep and comprehensive free-trade agreement' (DCFTA) with the EU in July and it was set to be signed at a summit with the EU in late November. In addition to a free-trade deal, Armenia has been working towards the signing of an association agreement with the EU, a framework agreement on co-operation that is seen as a first step towards political integration with the EU.
However, during a Sept 3 meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Armenian leader Sargsyan said Armenia is ready to join Customs Union, with further plans to be involved in formation of the Eurasian Economic Union.
Mr. Putin supported the initiative, voicing readiness to assist Armenia in the process. He also noted that Russian Railways may invest 15 billion rubles in development of Armenia's railway network.
The Customs Union was formed in 2010 to include of Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia; Kirghizia and Tajikistan later expressed willingness to join the Union.