Vyacheslav Kovalenko: “Armenia needs the EEU”
By Vestnik Kavkaza
On October 10th in Minsk as a result of talks between the EEU countries’ leaders the Agreement on Accession of Armenia to the Eurasian Economic Union is going to be signed. According to Gallup International, more than half of Armenia’s citizens positively view joining the Customs Union, which is a basis for the EEU; 27% of citizens regard it negatively.
At the same time, according to a survey headlined “Integration Barometer” by the Eurasian Bank of Development, the accession of Armenia to the Customs Union is viewed positively by 64% of Armenian citizens, 8% treat it negatively, and 21% - indifferently.
Vyacheslav Kovalenko, the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Russia to Armenia (2009-2013), the director of regional programs of the Institute of Caspian Cooperation, thinks that “integration for such small countries as Armenia is a guarantee of providing lasting economic interests, lasting economic growth. The process of Eurasian integration means joint working on the game rules and mutual respect of national sovereignties. A significant part of the road has been travelled; there are some problems with customs and tax spheres, which are being intensively discussed.”
According to Kovalenko, “Armenia, which has chosen the Customs Union willingly, will travel the rest of the road by signing the agreement, and together with Russia and other CU members it will come to wide prospects of development of its national economy, using the achievements of the Customs Union. This is oil prices, extension of cooperation and interregional ties, extension of the outlet market for Armenian agricultural producers, issues of migration policies, issuing national status to labor migrants who work in Russia.
2 million Armenians live in Russia. According to the Federal Migration Service, 800 thousand of them are labor migrants. It is important to prevent the situation which has happened in Ukraine, when such conflicts between two parts of the population occurred. We should remember about this important factor.”
Meanwhile, yesterday it was found out that the State Duma could ratify the agreement establishing the Eurasian Economic Union on September 26th.