President talks Customs Union, pension reforms, Baku provocations

President talks Customs Union, pension reforms, Baku provocations

PanARMENIAN.Net - Allegations that Armenia has been under pressure to join the Customs Union are untrue, President Serzh Sargsyan said, according to ARKA.

“It is an important period for development of our country. A lot will change in the country. I have no problems – either with those criticizing me or the ones supporting the idea of accession. Time will show who was right,” the President said at a meeting with young reporters at Baze-2014 youth gathering in Tsakhkadzor on Sunday, August 24.

Sargsyan agreed that, to some extent, not all CU member states may be happy about Armenia’s accession.

“We are a small country, with a number of problems, and, naturally, our accession may create problems for the member states as well,” Sargsyan said. “Yet, had they been adamantly opposed to Armenia’s accession, they would have vetoed it.”

Sargsyan also noted that he will sign the constitutional reform concept this October, with transparent discussions held on the issue.

“About a month ago we came to a conclusion that the constitutional reform commission needed time to expand the scope of discussions and, if I am not mistaken, the outcome was to be finalized in October,” Sargsyan said.

The President further dismissed suggestions of soaring shadow economy in Armenia, noting that a doubled budget income in recent years became possible only through taxes paid, with the budget having no other means for replenishment.

The Armenian leader also voiced support for introduction of mandatory funded pensions, ruling out revision of the issue.

Commenting on recent Azeri-caused escalations at borders with Armenia and Karabakh, the President noted that Baku's moves aimed to suggest that the war is not over and current status quo is unacceptable.

Sargsyan believes that Azeri provocations are initiated by the country's leadership, without President Aliyev concealing it. “Additional goals Baku pursued lied in intimidating the Armenian side, justifying major expenditures in the military sector and showcasing their weaponry,” he said.

The President noted, in conclusion, that negotiations to achieve a peaceful settlement continue despite lack of progress.

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