Armenia Adopts ‘Roadmap’ to Customs Union Accession
YEREVAN—Armenia’s President Serzh Sarkisian participated in a special meeting of the Russian-led Customs Union’s regulatory body, the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council, which was attended by the Presidents of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, and Kyrgyzstan, and the Prime Minister of Ukraine.
The Supreme Eurasian Economic Council (SEEC) confirmed a “roadmap” for Armenia’s accession to the economic union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. The governments of the three countries and the SEEC have been instructed to work jointly with the Government of Armenia to ensure the implementation of the events envisaged by the roadmap.
The SEEC has been tasked with monitoring the implementation of the items laid out by the program and to inform Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russian about the results of the monitoring. The Commission will present a report at the next meeting.
The Presidents of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia and Armenia signed a statement on the “roadmap” of Armenia’s accession to the Common Economic Space of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia and Armenia.
Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus have coordinated the basic principles of the future Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), Russian President Vladimir Putin said, opening a top-level meeting of the SEEC in Moscow on Tuesday. He hailed “progress” made since the last meeting in Minsk two month ago.
“The institutional part of the Treaty on the Eurasian Economic Union has been drafted,” Putin said, the Voice of Russia reports.
He explained that the document specifies the legal status, organizational framework, aims and functional mechanisms of the EEU, which is due to become operational as of Jan. 1, 2015.
“We have fixed the basic principles of the Eurasian integration project,” Putin said.
The key principle is that EEU activities should fully meet the national interests of all its members, he added.
“We are creating the Eurasian Union in order to strengthen our economies and ensure their harmonious development and a closer rapprochement,” the Russian leader said.
The future alliance, Putin said, will make goods produced by its member states more competitive and consequently benefit their well being.
“Now that preparations for the first part of the project are nearly over, it is necessary to focus our efforts on the functional and economic parts,” he said, adding that work in that direction was already under way.
“Our integration project is interesting and holds appeal for many partners in the CIS due to objective economic reasons. As we know, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan have not only expressed their wish to become its participants, but have already accomplished a significant amount of work in this direction. A roadmap outlining further steps as part of Armenia’s accession will be put up for debate today. A similar document concerning Kyrgyzstan is currently being negotiated,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday at the SEEC session in the Kremlin.
Armenia, Russia expand air communication
On Dec. 23, a delegation headed by the Deputy Minister of the Economy Garegin Melkonyan left for Moscow to take part in discussions on bilateral cooperation in civil aviation with aviation authorities of Russian.
On Tuesday, Dec. 24, the Armenian delegation had a meeting with representatives of the Russian Ministry of Transport. During the meeting, the Russian side noted the high interest of Russian airlines to conduct flights to Armenia.
After the meeting, the parties signed a protocol, making changes to an agreement signed between Russia and Armenia in Oct. 4, 1993.
According to the protocol, there will be a higher degree of freedom in the field of civil aviation and air communication, which will allow airlines from both countries to expand their services.
So far, Armenia has already conducted negotiations with multiple governments in regards to Armenia’s new “open skies” policy.