by David Stepanyan
Nazarbayev's show caused a tempest in a teapot, Deputy Director of the Caucasus Institute Sergey Minasyan said in an interview to ArmInfo, when asked to comment on Armenian society's reaction to the statement by the Kazakh President in Astana.
He said that some people in Armenia expressed surprise that Armenia was joining the Eurasian Economic Union without Nagorno- Karabakh, others felt indignant that the Armenian President did not cut his Kazakh colleague down to size.
"In reality, Nazarbayev's statement is not an obstacle to Armenia's accession to the Eurasian Economic Union and was just a curtsy to Baku and an attempt to get more economic preferences from Moscow," Minasyan said.
In his opinion, Nagorno-Karabakh cannot be part of the Eurasian Economic Union as even though de facto independent since 1991, de jure it is not recognized internationally. "Nor is it part of Armenia. Consequently, it cannot by definition join the Eurasian Economic Union together with Armenia," Minasyan said.
On the other hand, he is sure that like before Nagorno- Karabakh's products will continue being labeled as "made in Armenia" worldwide in the years to come.
"In other words, Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh will remain a common economic and military-political zone," the expert said.
In his opinion, Armenia's involvement in the Kremlin's Eurasian projects has sense only if it joints the projects together with Nagorno-Karabakh.
"The key reason why Armenia decided to join the Customs Union was to ensure Nagorno-Karabakh's security. So, if this factor is put aside, Armenia will not be able to take part in the Kremlin's projects and they in Moscow are perfectly aware of this. After all, in the past 20 years Armenia has signed plenty of international agreements within the borders recognized by the UN. So, I wonder why everything must be different in the case of the Eurasian Economic Union," Minasyan said.