STEPANAKERT (Tert)—Artsakh’s exclusion from the Eurasian Economic Union’s accession process should not come as a surprise, as there was never an initiative for the country’s membership, Artsakh’s Presidential Spokesman David Babayan said.
Babayan says the country submitted no bid for joining the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) with Armenia and neither had its legal status issue clarified to make such a deal possible.
“There’s nothing strange about it. We have not yet achieved state recognition by either Kazakhstan or Belarus, so we have absolutely nothing to worry about,” he told Tert.am, commenting on the ratification of Armenia’s EEU treaty by Kazakhstan and Belarus.
The two countries’ legislators, who approved the deal earlier this week, stated in their decisions that Karabakh would not integrate into the EEU after Armenia’s membership.
“We do not have to politicize everything. We cannot simply be a member of that union, as we have not submitted a bid. Also, we have recognition-related problems,” Babayan said.
“Armenia has for over eight years been a member of the World Trade Organization, and there was no problem about that. So is there any reason to artificially complicate the situation here, provoking debates and speculations? There will simply be no changes at all,” he said.
Commenting on the recent developments, political analyst Levon Shirinyan said he thinks the processes will develop as agreed.
“The President did say that Artsakh is part of our republic … so the treaty was ratified based on the preliminary agreement,” he noted.
Asked whether he sees any hazards, Shirinyan admitted to having concerns. “When, sometime in the future, Kazakhstan and Belarus improve their relationship with Azerbaijan, they may come to treat the Artsakh issue as a playing card. To prevent this from posing a permanent threat to us, Armenia has to first of all build its relations with Russia in the integration process. Russia appears to be the main channel of our relationship. And the important thing is to strengthen Armenia. So our main relationship is with the strategic ally, and that should be built on an equal footing as partners, not as a master and servant. Our objective should be raising Armenia’s role,” Shirinyan said.