by David Stepanyan
"One should not forget that Armenia's intention to access the Customs Union is just an intention so far. Look at how surprising was President Sargsyan's decision to access the Customs Union amid talks for the association with the EU. This means that we'd better refrain from any predictions before the fact of accession or signing of an agreement," says Erika Lerner, a Czech member of the Association of the European Center of Meetings between East and West, in response to ArmInfo's question in an online interview.
"As for the perspectives for Armenia at the CU, much depends on the economic terms under which Armenia will join the Union. There are no discussions on this very aspect in Yerevan so far. Nevertheless, the EU tries its best to persuade Yerevan that Eurasian integration was a wrong decision. It may offer new programs. As regards European integration of Armenia and accession to the EU, these perspectives are too obscure to speak about them within the coming decades. There are no such perspectives at all," she said.
Considering the aforementioned, Lerner said that Armenia has entrusted itself to Russia loading it with all its expenses, while Armenia would hardly manage to do it with the EU. As for Azerbaijan, she said, it tries to demonstrate how independent it is from any integration unions perfectly realizing its economic capacity. The expert is sure that Armenia was not forced to access the CU by Russia. Nevertheless, the South Caucasus would become a collective member of NATO and the EU yet long ago but for the wars and armed conflicts of the last 20-26 years in the region, she said.
Joint online press conference of experts from various countries for Armenian, Azerbaijani and Georgian mass media on the relevant problems are organized within the project "Expansion of knowledge of Armenians and Azerbaijanis about each other and confidence building through first-hand information". The project of the "Region" Research Center (Armenia) and Peace and Democracy Institute (Azerbaijan) is supported by the British Embassies in Armenia and Azerbaijan.