by Arthur Yernjakyan
Russian President Vladimir Putin hopes that the process of Armenia's accession to the Customs Union will be as effective as possible.
ArmInfo's correspondent reports that during the Dec 2 session of the Third Russian-Armenian Interregional Forum in Gyumri Putin said that Armenia's intention to join the integration structures of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan opens wide possibilities for promotion of the cooperation. He added that Armenian experts, specialists and economists had properly estimated all the advantages and benefits of such joint activities. Putin stressed that the movement towards the Eurasian integration project is "the sovereign choice of Armenian people".
"Certainly, Russia will do its best to support this dimension of cooperation with Armenia", he added. Putin stressed that he considers Armenia to be a full participant in the integration project. He recalled that this approach was approved by the Customs Union member countries during the October session of the Supreme Economic Council in Minsk. "Practical measures are being taken for the republic's accession to the Customs Union. Consultations are being held with the Eurasian Economic Commission, and a big package of legal, administrative and other issues is still to be coordinated", said the Russian leader. He expressed confidence that Armenia's joining the Eurasian integration project will seriously strengthen its economic potential and will contribute to improvement of the investment climate, enhancement of direct business contacts, including those at the regional level.
During the September 3 meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan confirmed Armenia's intention to join the Customs Union and to contribute to further formation of the Eurasian economic union. Since 2010 Yerevan had actively held negotiations on Association Agreement/ Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area with the European Union. The AA/DCFTA was to have been initialed during the Eastern Partnership Summit in Vilnius.
The Customs Union was created within the frames of the Eurasian Economic Community as trade and economic integration of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia and implies a common customs area. The member countries of the Customs Union have common customs tariffs and common measures of trade regulation with the third countries.