Armenia to join Eurasian Economic Union in 2015

Leaders of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia at a previous EEU meeting.

Leaders of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia at a previous EEU meeting.

Armenia will officially join the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) officials at the Kremlin have confirmed today.

The news was announced earlier today by Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov. The agreement will be finalised tomorrow during the EEU’s scheduled meeting in Minsk.

Armenia had previously made plans to finalise their membership to the union earlier this year, though their application was blocked by Belarus and Kazakhstan, who raised concerns over controlling customs between Armenia and the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh.

In response to concerns Armenia reiterated this week that it will not treat Karabakh as part of the union, and will install new customs controls on the border between Armenia and the de facto unrecognised republic. The decision not to include Karabakh in the union upset some Armenians, many of whom see the region as Armenian territory. The decision to control customs to the area also came under criticism from the Karabakh government, who had previously stated that there would be no customs controls set up. Others also criticised the decision, seeing it as  further isolating the already struggling economy of the region.

Despite criticisms the Armenian authorities have stated that new customs measures will appear when the union comes into action early next year, though exact details have been purposefully vague.

The EEU will come into full effect on January 1, 2015 and will see a unified economic market across its member nations of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and now Armenia.

The meeting held tomorrow will also be used for current members to discuss potential membership to Kyrgyzstan, who have expressed a desire to join the union.

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