Russian analyst signals 'hazards' of Armenia's European integration

11:13 • 29.07.17



A policy choice allowing Armenia to opt for European integration would imply open borders with Turkey, a Russian political analyst said Friday, commenting on the parliamentary opposition's recent call for revising country’s membership in the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).


Modest Kalerov sees nothing surprising about the proposal raised by the political bloc Yelk, which he said stood out with pro-Western western approaches back in the pre-election period.


Speaking to Tert.am, he highlighted two possible choices for Armenia: membership in either the EEU or EU,  or no membership at all in any political or economic bloc or union.

“Two of Armenia’s neighbors, Georgia and Turkey, are heading towards EU integration. So the question for Armenia is whether wants membership in a [supra-national] body which may also accept Turkey as a member or whether it wishes to remain a sovereign state. EU membership implies membership based on the territorial integrity principle. So the question Yelk needed to have raised while making that proposal is whether Armenia is ready to open its borders with Turkey to shift the policy choice towards the European Union. European integration implies open borders with Turkey,” he added.  


According to Kolerov, Armenia has better chances to maintain its sovereignty in the Eurasian Economic Union. “The EU Association Agreement which Armenia didn’t sign was aimed at handing over the country’s sovereignty to the European Union. Those who insist on the contrary are either liars or fools,” he added.

 

Asked whether Armenia’s Eurasian integration really matters for Russia, the analyst said, “Russia’s position is that it is Armenia’s internal affair, as Armenia became an EEU member on its own initiative. President Serzh Sargsyan expressed the country’s willingness to join the union on September 3 [2013]. This is what Russia will say. Likewise Russia will say that if you have changed your minds, you are free to make another decision, because it is again your country’s internal affair, and the decisions rest with you,” Kolerov said, adding that he doesn’t absolutely expect Armenia's possible decision to leave the EEU to undermine the union.

 

Tigranuhi Martirosyan





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