What Benefits for Armenia after Its Two-Year Membership in EEU?
The two years following Armenia’s joining Eurasian Economic Union have not benefited the country, believe lawmaker Tevan Poghosyan and expert Stepan Girgoryan.

Tevan Poghosyan from the Heritage Faction and Stepan Grigoryan, Head of the Analytical Centre on Globalization and Regional Cooperation, shared thoughts on the benefits of Armenia’s membership in EEU.

No positive tendency or gaining is observed after Armenia joined EEU, Tevan Poghosyan told the journalists.

“We might have known it was going to be like this. There might have been challenges and hardships if we had gone on with signing the bilateral free trade agreement - Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area- but in a long term perspective we would have integrated into a market where countries are not big and the market is equally divided,” Poghosyan said.

The membership in EEU was a political decision, Poghosyan believes.

“And if the decision is political and not interest-driven, you are forced to make it. No political solutions, though, ensued. We have ventured into a market where powerful countries depend on the oil prices. We might have known we would greatly depend on economic shifts in that market and our interests were less likely to get promoted,” Poghosyan said.

Russia, Stepan Grigoryan believes, has not established the Eurasian Union to enhance economy and create a free trade area.

“Russia has created the Eurasian Union to keep us around. The European Union is the only structure which directly invests in the Armenian economy. Meanwhile, Russia changes its laws, and now, for example, alcohol has a clear price limit per liter which means our brandy exporters are losing the Russian market,” Grigoryan said.

Armenia’s integration has led to obligations only, Grigoryan believes.

“We do not have the right to act independently concerning a lot of economic and financial issues. It was Putin’s “message” that CIS states should not use US dollars. It turns out there has not been any consideration whether we would benefit,” Grigoryan said.

Lilit Arakelyan, Editor-Coordinator

Please contact the author at lilitarakelyan@pjc.am.

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