YEREVAN (RFE/RL)—Armenia will finish the implementation of a “roadmap” to join the Russian-led Customs Union as early as next month, Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharian said over the weekend.
Kocharian told journalists that the Armenian authorities will have taken all steps stemming from the document and be ready to sign an accession treaty with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan “by the middle of April at the latest.”
The 250-page “roadmap” was agreed by the presidents of the union’s three member states as well as Armenia at a summit in Moscow last December. It lists 262 administrative and legislative actions concerning 20 areas of government policy.
At least 150 of those measures are due to be unilaterally taken by the Armenian side. Most of them are amendments that will bring Armenian laws and regulations into conformity with Customs Union legislation. Armenia’s parliament has yet to start debating them.
The accession process also requires an agreement on sweeping trade preferences sought by Yerevan. The latter hopes that as many as 850 types of essential products imported to Armenia will be exempt from the trade bloc’s high customs duties.