YEREVAN—Turkey’s Economy Minister’s announcement late last week that Turkey would like to join the Eurasian Economic Union has raised eyebrows with official Yerevan, which said an unequivocal ‘no’ at the idea.
On Friday, Turkey’s Economy Minister Nyhat Zeybekci announced his country’s intention to sign a customs agreement with the Eurasian Economic Union on the creation of a free trade zone. He said that it was Ankara’s hope to complete relevant discussion by year’s end, reported RIA Novosti.
“A free trade agreement between Russia and Turkey will lead to a new level of partnership,” Zeybekci was quoted as saying at a business forum in Izmir.
Armenia’s Foreign Ministry was quick to point out that any agreement to join the EEU required the agreement of all member-states. Armenia joined the EEU in 2015.
Armenia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan on Saturday took to Twitter to reiterate his ministry’s position and to call Turkey’s posturing ridiculous.
“It is absurd that Turkey, which unilaterally closed its border with Armenia [in 1993]—the only land border between Turkey and the EEU—speaks about joining the customs territory of the EEU,” Kocharyan emphasized.
Turkey closed its borders with Armenia in 1993 as a show of solidarity with Azerbaijan, which was embroiled in and later lost the Artsakh war. Turkey has also not recognized Armenia as an independent state.