Turkey-Eurasian Union Partnership ‘Will Hurt Armenia’

Turkish and Russian flags on display in Moscow


If Turkey’s initiative to create a free trade zone with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan becomes a reality, it will prove to be an unfavorable factor for Armenia as Turkey will become a real actor in that market, with certain anti-Armenian manifestations, expert in Turkic studies Ara Papyan told Tert.am.

“Turkey has had this intention for a long time. When Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev spoke of Turkey’s accession to the Eurasian Economic Union, he was actually speaking of Turkey’s joining it somehow rather than of its membership. So if this scenario is made a reality, Turkey, as well as other Turkic-speaking countries, will greatly benefit from it. But it will have negative consequences for us,” Papyan said.

Such developments are undesirable for Armenia because they will create bias toward the interests of Russia and Turkey.

“The two countries’ bilateral trade turnover is around $20bn, but they are going to bring it up to $100bn. This is an anti-Armenian figure, with all the ensuing consequences,” he said.

Regrettably, Armenia cannot do anything in this situation, Papyan says.

“The only thing for us to do is to place our hopes on Russia, its realizing its own geopolitical interests. But, it should be noted, experience shows it does not work,” Papyan said.

According to him, Russia is ready to renounce its geopolitical interests for economic interests because, given its heavy situation, it is seeking to resolve short-term problems.

Papyan doesn’t think Armenia will be an obstacle in case the sides decide to build such relations. The only power, according to him, may be the United States in case that country doesn’t really want Turkey to develop close ties with Russia.

Addressing the topic, economist Vahagn Khachatryan said it is still too early to talk about such relations given that none of the states have made any statement so far.

“Turkey, which develops large-scale relations with Russia, will naturally desire to expand them. But the problem for the Customs Union member states is Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan has always wished to expand Kazakhstan-Turkey relations, so they now wish to involve Turkey [in the bloc] to realize their economic project,” he noted.

Khachatryan added that he doesn’t pin much positive hope on the plan given that ideas of the kind have not been a success in the recent period.

“After all, it will depend on how things will develop. Free trade must always have certain limitations; Turkey is a World Trade Organization member, while Belarus and Kazakhstan are not. This may cause Turkey to face the same problem as Armenia,” Khacharyan explained.

As for Armenia’s future, the economist said he expects Armenian-Turkish relations to become an agenda topic after the country joins the Russia-led economic bloc. “It is possible to make such assumptions,” he added.

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11 Comments

  1. Hratch said:

    You know what, perhaps I should be charging for advise……of course it going to damage us! How crass one must be not to see this coming. Mother Russia is NOT our friend nor our ally. There is no such thing as a friend, brother or any other misconstrued notion in politics. It’s a dog eat dog world and nothing else. Russians are smart, they are out for themselves and only for themselves. The rest, including Armenians, are just clueless background noise for the powerful. If I have said it once I have said it a thousand times, don’t ever underestimate the power of the mechanism of natural selection….for those who don’t know what is natural selection, look it up.

    • Dino said:

      it’s been downhill since 387 AD. When the kingdom of Armenia was split between Roman hegemony and Persian hegemony. In 428 the kingdom ended. All that has been was put in motion due to acceptance of Christianity in 301.

    • hidi said:

      **** Hratch, your comments are on the mark as always, and I totally agree with you, but my hart beats for Armenia and is sadden by the lack of progress.

    • Lilit M said:

      Well said! I was born in Russia and I was 8 years old when I moved to the United States. I can tell you that I saw nothing, but racist comments and discrimination against myself and my fellow Armenians(Armenians were called black! I was even called black). With that said, Russia is a state that still follows the footsteps of KGB and old soviet communist policies that only strengthen itself not its fellow neighbors. Plus, I think it would be silly to the ideology that Russia or any other nation is going to come to Armenia’s rescue. Nations are in for the power and the wealth. Armenia needs to be dependent on its own people and its own nation nothing more. We do have the intelligence, man power, and everything to make Armenia powerful and independent. We have done it to other nations and our history is another example. Thanks Hratch for your comment!

  2. A.N. said:

    In general in 2014 there has been no good news for Armenia economically and for Artzakh geopolitically, and that’s very sad.!!!!!!!!!! A.N.

  3. Dr.Hermon Mihranian said:

    Yerevan must join the Eurasian Economic Union. I strongly disagree with Ara Papyan. The fact is, joining the Eurasian Economy Union will have a positive impact on Yerevan.

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