by Alexandr Avanesov
Syria's statement on its intention to access the Customs Union is a propaganda step, Alexander Iskandaran, a well-known Armenian political scientist, Director of the Caucasus Institute, told ArmInfo.
According to him, it is hard to imagine how Syria will be accessing the CU. This is a long procedure, at least look at Armenia, he said. Furthermore, Iskandaryan claims, there is certain tension between Minsk, Astana and Moscow, leaving aside Kyrghyzstan.
"Syria is now in a situation when it cannot mull accession to the CU. Primarily, it lacks common border with the CU countries. One should not neglect the fact that Syria is surrounded with, to put it mildly, unfriendly countries. Suffice it to say that nearly every plane flying to Syria over Turkey is forced down and inspected. I think, this is nothing but propaganda," Iskandaryan said.
Syrian Deputy Prime Minister Kadri Jamil said in Moscow today that Damascus is ready to join the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan soon. He said Syria is now changing its legislation to attract investors, first of all, from Russia.
Inherently, it is for the first time after the Syrian events that Moscow announces an intention to boost its relations with the Arab Republic. At present, Russia supplies weapons and some raw materials to Syria. Moscow must now focus on export of cars and equipment. There are plans of cooperation in the field of energy, agriculture, IT and education. Damascus is ready to offer exclusive economic conditions to Russian businessmen and companies. Some Russian experts say the CU may be finally reorganized into a political organization.
Earlier Chairman of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission Viktor Khristenko said the agreement on Armenia's accession to the Customs Union and the Single Economic Space will be drafted by 1 June 2014. A road map of Kyrghyzstan's accession to the CU was approved yesterday.