Donnerstag, 5. September 2013

Armenia: the Customs Union v. DCFTA with the EU?

On 3 September 2013, the President of Armenia Mr. Serzh Sargsyan said at a meeting with the Russian President Mr. Vladimir Putin that Armenia would join the Customs Union of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus.
On the one side, this can be regarded as a reasonable step as Russia is probably the main trading partner of Armenia, and joining the Customs Union could encourage Armenia’s foreign trade activities. However, Armenia has just finished negotiations of an Association Agreement with the EU including a DCFTA Agreement. The latter has been announced to be initialed at the EU Summit in Vilnius in late November 2013.  
The problem is that in such a case Armenia would be in an FTA with the EU and at the same time a member of a customs union with non-WTO members, in which a big part of national foreign trade competencies is delegated to the customs union bodies. This combination seems to be impossible, at least as of now. Does it mean that there will be no DCFTA initialing with Armenia in Vilnius?

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