Armenia has joined the Eurasian Economic Union Treaty, tengrinews reports. The signing of the agreement was initially expected in July, but due to some technical matters, the process was protracted.
Finally, the agreement was signed in Minsk, Belarus at the meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council, where Presidents of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia and Armenia discussed the course of preparations to launching the Eurasian Economic Union on January 1, 2015.
“The key point of today’s meeting is undoubtedly the signing of the agreement on Armenia’s joining the Eurasian Economic Union Treaty. Within a short period of time, we have settled all the legal and economic matters as well as the issue of Armenia’s representation in the Eurasian Economic Commission board (the permanent regulatory body of the Customs Union). This is a landmark event. First time ever the Eurasian Economic Union is expanded by one more member. I think there are no barriers for Armenia’s accession into the EEU,” Nursultan Nazarbayev said at the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council summit meeting.
“I am convinced that signing of this historical document will mark a new stage in the Eurasian integration. We are well aware of the special responsibility that we undertake by being the first country to join the Union. I believe that together we will be able to effectively conduct the process of Armenia’s accession minimising the risks for our country and maximising the common benefit. (…) It is clear that together we are economically stronger and together it is easier for us to respond to global challenges. The Eurasian Economic Union is geographically the largest economic union. We are convinced that it holds a huge untapped potential for consolidation of its positions on the world economic arena,” Armenia’s President Serzh Sargsyan said adding that the negotiations on Armenia’s accession into the EEU were quite difficult.
Serzh Sargsyan expressed hope that the agreement would be ratified by the parliaments of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia by the end of the year.
Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that Armenia is ready to join the EEU. “We think that Armenia is ready to work within the Eurasian Economic Union on an equal footing with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. In a relatively short space of time, starting in autumn 2013, our Armenian friends have brought their economic regulations in line with our common standards and their national laws in line with our organisation’s rules,” Putin is quoted as saying by kremlin.ru, “We hope to see a positive macroeconomic effect in the first year or two following Armenia’s accession. Our three countries’ trade with Armenia has been growing fast as it is and has been adding around 10 percent every year. I hope removing the trade and administrative barriers will strengthen this trend. Other key indicators such as GDP, consumer demand, real incomes, and employment should also improve.”
Armenia decided to become engaged in the Eurasian integration process back in September 2013 when it announced its intention to join the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, and subsequently to take part in the EEU.
Apart from Armenia, Kyrgyzstan’s integration into the Common Economic Space was among the topics discussed at the meeting. "The road map for accession of Kyrgyzstan to the Customs Union is being implemented. Today, we will approve the roadmap for Kyrgyzstan’s integration into the Common Economic Space,” Nursultan Nazarbayev said adding that Kazakhstan was ready to assist Kyrgyzstan in technical matters along with Russia.
The Eurasian Economic Union is a political and economic union signed by Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan on May 29, 2014 that will come into effect on January 1, 2015. All three countries have already ratified the agreement. The EEU will create a single market of 171 million people generating a GDP of 3 trillion U.S. dollars.
The next meeting of the council is scheduled to be held in Moscow in December to discuss the final preparations to launching the EEU.