Swiss Ambassador to Armenia Lukas Gasser: Switzerland will try to contribute to a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict without questioning the established formats such as the OSCE Minsk process
by Alexandr Avanesov
Armenia will gain no tangible economic benefits from joining the Customs Union. The remarks came from Aleksey Malashenko, co-chair of the Carnegie Moscow Center's Religion, Society, and Security Program, in response to Vedomosti's question about Yerevan's decision to join the Customs Union.
Malashenko said Yerevan's decision was an absolute victory of Russia in its project of Eurasian integration amid its relations with Ukraine and Belarus.
"Armenia's decision was anticipated, given its strategic partnership with Russia and the Karabakh conflict. By joining the Customs Union, Armenia will not change the status quo in the region. There will be criticism, indeed, but not for a long time," Malashenko said.
According to Vedomosti, yet in 2012 Armenia had no intention to join the Customs Union. In May 2012 Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan told Vedomosti that for his country joining the Customs Union was not conceptual for some geopolitical reasons - no borders with Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus. Armenia, he said, suggested developing a special form of cooperation with the Customs Union. A free trade area with Europe would ensure a significant progress for Armenia boosting exports and imports, he said. To recall, on September 3, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan confirmed Armenia's intention to join the Customs Union and the process of the formation of the Eurasian Union. Vladimir Putin supported Sargsyan's decision and promised to contribute to Yerevan's accession to the Customs Union in every possible way.