Georgia Put Forth Conditions To Armenia


Naira Hayrumyan, Political Commentator
Comments – Thursday, 10 July 2014, 15:26

Free trade between Armenia and Georgia is still effective, and the
Georgian side will try to keep it going however it is not known what
requirements the Customs Union will put forth to Armenia in respect
of Georgia, the Georgian ambassador to Armenia Tengiz Shamanashvili
announced. In answer to the question whether the customs duties will
go up after the ratification of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement,
Tengiz Sharmanashvili said: “I don’t think it will happen, and the
EU did not set forth such a requirement; on the contrary, we do not
know for sure what the Customs Union will require from Armenia in
respect to us.”

In fact, Georgia puts forth a condition for maintaining free trade
arrangements with Armenia – refusal to join the Customs Union. This
is not even a condition but a warning. Georgia will not spoil its
relations with Armenia unless Armenia joins the Customs Union and
increases customs duties.

This can be considered as Europe’s conditions because Georgia will
soon associate with the EU and EU rules and regulations will apply to
its borders. Despite Armenia’s commitment to join the Customs Union
Europe has not cancelled the generalized system of preferences for
Armenia. As part of this, Armenia may import from and export to Europe
hundreds of items customs free or with minimum duties. The rules will
change, however, in case Armenia becomes member of the Eurasian Union.

Hindrances for Armenia’s membership to the Customs Union are more
than the fingers of both hands. The Russian expert Vadim Dubnov
thinks that Kazakhstan and Belarus do not let Armenia in to make
sure that Russia does not get an extra vote. For its part, Europe is
waiting when Armenia will join the Eurasian Economic Union to cancel
GSP. Georgia does not intend to support Armenia’s membership.

Armenia will only suffer from membership to the Eurasian Union. Only
words are left – the Armenian and Russian governments are repeating
them as mantras in order not to forget and remind others as well.

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