Russia will press Belarus and Kazakhstan into ratifying Armenia EEU

Russia will press Belarus and Kazakhstan into ratifying Armenia EEU
accession treaty – Khachatur Kokobelyan

13:29 * 14.12.14

In an interview with Tert.am, Chairman of the Free Democrats party
Khachatur Kokobelyan commented on the fact that the Belarusian and
Kazakh Parliaments did not ratify the treaty on Armenia’s accession to
the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).

Therefore, legally, Armenia cannot join the EEU from January 1, 2015.
Mr Kokobelyan believes, however, that Russia will press Belarus and
Kazakhstan into settling the issue.

Russia needs Armenia badly both as a vote and as a partner in the
South Caucasus, and it is desirable that Armenian statesmen and
politicians realize it, he said.

“Of course, the Kazakh and Belarusian Parliaments will not hold
special meetings on the issue of Armenia. So, legally, Armenia cannot
join the Eurasian Economic Union on January 1, 2015. Regrettably, at
its meeting on Saturday, the Economic Commission approved the EEU laws
on customs dues, but the decisions are to take effect after Armenia
joins the EEU. I do not think that Belarus or Kazakhstan will not
ratify the treaty on Armenia’s accession. But the fact that they did
not put the issue on their parliamentary agenda is evidence of lack of
coordination within the EEU. I would like to recall Russian FM Sergey
Lavrov’s statement, which, I think, is a serious problem. He said
that, in the case of sanctions, the EEU Rules of Procedure allow EEU
member-nations to a impose countersanctions.”

As to the reasons for the delay, Mr Kokobelyan said:

“There is a much-talked-of problem, which was raised by Belarus and
Kazakhstan: ‘we do not need Armenia, and it is a purely political
decision made by Russian authorities.’ Russia needs Armenia badly both
as a vote and as a partner in the South Caucasus, and it is desirable
that our statesmen and politicians realize it. And I am sure that
Russia will press Belarus and Kazakhstan into settling the issue
because it meets Russia’s political interests. Another question is
that before next May – which I consider unlikely -Russia’s influence
on its partners will weaken so much that it will not be able to ensure
a political solution for the problem – because it is a purely
political problem.”

With respect to a statement by Tigran Balayan, Spokesman for Armenia’s
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, that “the misinformation [on the delay in
Armenia’s accession to the EEU] needs no comment,” Mr Kokobelyan said:

“We are not going to join the EEU on January 1. Our Parliament has
ratified the treaty and, I am sure, will approve the laws in
conformity with the EEU laws. And Armenia will have laws harmonized
with the structure’s requirements, but will have wait for the
Belarusian and Kazakh Parliaments to ratify the treaty.”

http://www.tert.am/en/news/2014/12/14/qoqobelyan/1535295

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