Europe And Russia: Former Will Register Hidden Profits, Latter Offer


14:51 ~U 25.09.13

The Customs Union is from now on a reality. Asked about the benefits
Armenia may gain from the Customs Union, Artak Davtyan, a Republican
Party of Armenia (RPA) parliamentary group member, said, “dozens
of them.”

Armenia’s readiness to join the Customs Union was expected, and
President Serzh Sargsyan’s statement was the only logical step.

The MP reminded the journalists that Armenia has preferred the
Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) to NATO.

“If we preferred the CSTO, we are expected to have economic
foundations. So it is natural that we cannot seek an alliance with
any other forces. I could point to dozens of positive provisions, but
the most important is regaining our markets. I mean both the Nairit
plant and the Vanadzor-based Khimprom and the electronic industry,
which was once developed, as well as food industry and agriculture. The
Customs Union cannot be compared with the European Union’s proposal,”
Davtyan said.

On the other hand, one of Armenia’s losses from initialing an
Association Agreement with the EU might be the supply of natural gas
at European prices, which means a double economic loss.

Vice-Chairperson of the Free Democrats party Anush Sedrakyan said that,
in contrast to the ruling party representatives, Free Democrats feel
free in voicing their opinions.

“Europe will register hidden profits. The EU forces economies to be
efficient. But Russia says ‘let us plunder together’,” she said.

With respect to the benefits listed by Artak Davtyan, she said:
“When a foreign journalist asked Armenia’s FM about the Customs
Union’s benefits, he did not say anything. Did not he know? Secondly,
if we must have economic foundations within the collective security
system – have you been unaware of the fact that we are part of one
collective system during the three-year-and-a-half-long talks? Thirdly,
with respect to regaining the economic markets, I far as I know the
enterprises [Nairit and Khimprom] do not operate. So does the Customs
Union have to invest in the re-operation of the industrial giants? And
then they will have to invest in transport and communication? As far
as I know Russia refused to invest in the railroad. Nor a gas price
reduction was discussed,” she said.

“Two superpowers, the United States and Russia, are bluffing. The
former has economic foundations, the latter has not any. It is a
question of spheres of influence,” Sedrakyan said.

In response, Davtyan said that Russia intends to invest RUB 15bn in
the Armenian railroads. He noted that it is a time-consuming process.

Armenian News –

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