by David Stepanyan
Armenia's key dividend from accession to the Customs Union is military-political rather than economic and is firmly tied to security. The statement came from Sergey Minasyan, Deputy Head of the Caucasus Institute, in response to ArmInfo's question about the road map of accessing the CU that was published by the Armenian Government.
"The military-political security is a predetermining factor for both our public and political elite. Accessing the Moscow-led Customs Union with a perspective of joining the Eurasian Union, Armenia enjoys higher-level relations with Russia. This, in turn, gives us preferences in the military-political cooperation, which is a predetermining factor for Armenia given the ongoing Karabakh conflict and dangers coming from Turkey," Minasyan said.
Nevertheless, he said, the CU membership will allow fixing the current gas tariff for Armenia at least till 2018, along with relatively easy flows of money transfers from Armenian migrants in Russia and easing of some economic requirements that will foster economy sectors. The heat over the September 3 statement of President Serzh Sargsyan on accession to the Customs Union is already in the past, Minasyan said.
Earlier on 3 February, the Government of Armenia published a 249-page road map for accession to the CU and the Common Economic Space with Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia that was approved yet on 23 January. The document consists of a program of 262 actions.