April 4, 2014 - 15:55 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy said that the Russia-dominated Customs Union undermines the sovereignty of individual countries.
As Stefan Fule noted at the joint news conference with Ukraine's deputy prime minister Vladimir Groysman and the head of the European Committee of the Regions Ramon Luis Valcarcel Siso, "the CU is built on economic and trade relations based on the Kremlin and Gazprom-controlled subsidies, with political cooperation founded on the Moscow-dictated demands. The illegal Crimea referendum and annexation are another proof to the above-mentioned," Rosbalt quoted Fule as saying.
As he further noted, in contrast to the CU, the Association Agreement offered to Ukraine by the EU aimed to boost the country's sovereignty and promote necessary economic and political reforms.
Accession to the Customs Union will strengthen Armenia’s economy, lift the customs duty-related barriers and, eventually, boost the quality of life in the country, a member of Federation Council of Russia said.
Igor Chernyshenko hailed the results of the Armenia-hosted forum on possibilities and challenges of the CU accession, with the ministers and experts participating.
As he also reminded, the greeting address of Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev welcomed Armenia's decision to join the CU, thus promoting further dynamic development of bilateral ties, the official website of Yedinaya Rossiya party said.
Armenia implemented 70% of the activities stipulated by the Customs Union accession roadmap, a presidential statement said earlier.
According to the address of Armenian leader Serzh Sargsyan to participants of the Armenia-CU conference, close cooperation with the Eurasian Economic Commission and relevant structures in Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan promoted progress in Armenia’s accession activities, to be followed by signing of an international legal deal, Novosti-Armenia reported.
In his address, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev welcomed the already perceptible success that the Customs Union and Unified Economic Space members achieved in their work. He also hailed Armenia’s progress in implementation of the CU accession roadmap, according to Armenia Today.
He further noted a stable global tendency for regional integration projects to facilitate economic growth and secure investments, expressing hope for the integration to strengthen Armenian-Russian ties.
At the conference, Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan outlined challenges of Armenia’s CU accession, Armenia Today reported.
“Armenia is a member of the World Trade Organization, with customs fees instituted in the WTO space thrice as low as those in the CU area. This means that the CU accession will negatively affect business entities importing goods from third countries. On the other hand, local manufacturers might benefit from the step, in having their rights protected and investments boosted.
As he further noted, the expected increase in customs fees might force Armenia to give preference to services and products offered by the CU states, with the difficulties that the importers of goods from third countries could face to be discussed.
According to the Prime Minister, by joining WTO, Armenia assumed certain obligations which should be revised in the light of its CU accession and change in customs fees, with the negotiations to be launched on the subject, Armenia Today reported.