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Why has Putin chosen the symbolic date, December 2, for visiting Yerevan?

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By Emma Gabrielyan

Armenia pays a high price for joining the Customs Union. READ MORE

Russian-Led Trade Bloc ‘No Soviet Union’

By Sargis Harutyunyan

Armenia will not lose its independence after joining the Russian-led customs union, Russia’s ambassador in Yerevan, Ivan Volynkin, insisted on Friday, strongly denying that Moscow is keen to recreate the former Soviet Union.  READ MORE

Armenia turns away from the EU

By Szymon Ananicz

After a meeting in Novo-Ogariovo near Moscow on 3 September, the presidents of Russia and Armenia, Vladimir Putin and Serzh Sargsyan, adopted a statement declaring that Armenia has decided to join the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, and wants to take part in creating a Eurasian Economic Union. During a press conference, Sargsyan argued that Armenia’s participation in a military alliance established by Russia (the CSTO) is not possible without simultaneous economic integration. The president also said that Armenia’s decision did not rule out further dialogue with the EU, and welcomed Brussels’ support for his country’s domestic reforms. In contrast to previous statements, however, Sargsyan did not mention Armenia’s attempts to sign an Association Agreement with the EU. READ MORE

Moscow Using New Customs Union to Extend Influence in Central Asia

By David Trilling

Having already been pummeled by rising fuel prices and political instability in recent months, the creation of a Customs Union among Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia threatens to deal yet another economic blow to Kyrgyzstan, and is exerting pressure on Bishkek to decide whether to cast its lot with Moscow or the West. READ MORE

Ukraine between the European and Customs Unions: What Will Be the Choice?

By Oleg Gorbunov

The enhanced Eastern vector of Ukrainian policy yet more likely misleads, rather then gives a direct reply – where does Ukraine go? READ MORE

Custom Union Impedes WTO Joining

By Aleksey Portanskij

Geneva welcomed first joint conferences of delegations from Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus with WTO member-states on joining this organization. As a result Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus intend to resume negotiations on joining the World Trade Organization as individual states, but in cooperation with each other. And the three states still strive to join WTO as soon as possible as a Custom Union. READ MORE