September 25, 2013 - 17:10 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Absence of a common border between Armenia and the Customs Union won’t hinder integration with the latter, Director of the Department of Integration at the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) said.
As Viktor Spassky told a news conference in Moscow, there’re enough examples in the world with countries affiliated with the same economic unions despite having no common borders.
According to Spassky there’s no exact date for Armenia’s accession to the Customs Union, the decision being up to Yerevan.
“It’s hard to guess when Armenia will join the CU, with the speed of the process depending on Yerevan,” he said.
“There’s a certain procedure to follow in joining the CU, which includes accepting the basis of the Union as well as the Common Economic Zone (CEZ) similar to Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.”
“In the CU framework, the country must join 78 normative documents as well as 17 CEZ describing documents,” he said. “It’s a serious process, with the ratification to be brought into compliance with the Armenian legislation.”
As he further noted, in mid 2014 the draft agreement for creation of the Eurasian Economic Union will be readied, to come into force starting January 1, 2015.
“Should Armenia complete all internal procedures by then, it may join EEU as the 4th member state. Also, Armenia has an advantage of being familiarized with the normative basis in the capacity of the EurAsEc observer,” 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; Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan later expressed willingness to join the Union.