At the meeting of the CIS leaders held on May 8 in Moscow, Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kazakhstan, made an announcement about the interest of Turkey, Azerbaijan and several other countries in the Eurasian Economic Union (EEC). This kind of statements have been made many times before by the leader of Kazakhstan, however, the presidents of other member states of the EEC have never properly responded to them. This time, Nazarbayev insisted that all participants of the EEC should consider Turkey’s interest.
In the interview to the «RUSARMINFO» agency, the Russian political scientist, deputy director of the Institute of CIS Countries Vladimir Zharikhin noted that “one of the main conditions for Turkey’s accession into the EEC should be the establishment of relations with Armenia.» «We see the economic interest of Turkey. Turkey’s membership in the European Union is postponed to infinity, and participation in such an economic union can be beneficial for Ankara, so this explains the country’s position. However, Turkey should take into account the interests of all countries participating in the EEC. Of course, Turkey is well aware that one of the full members of the union is Armenia. Without the normalization of relations between Armenia and Turkey the full membership of Ankara in the EEC remains impossible «, believes the expert.
Responding to our question, whether the position of Armenia would be supported by other member states of the EEC, Zharihin expressed confidence that the other EEC members would not disagree with Armenia. According to him, it’s impossible to be a member of an economic union and at the same time have sealed borders with another member of the same union. As for the possibility of Azerbaijan to join the EEC, Zharikhin ponders that this issue is even more dependent on the settlement of the Karabakh conflict. The correspondent of the “RUSARMINFO” agency also interviewed Vladimir Yevseev, the director of the Center for Public Policy Research, on this issue.
«We can’t talk about the complete membership of Turkey in the EEC; it’s more about the establishment of a free trade zone with the EEC. Moscow would never invite a state with a commensurable potential. In addition, there are a lot of contradictions between Russia and Turkey in regards to Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and other equally important issues, «said Yevseyev. According to him, Armenia, of course, can prevent the creation of a free trade zone between Turkey and the EEC, but the country has no intention to do that.
«Here we see the interest of another country — Azerbaijan. Baku wants to leave Armenia in isolation, but in the case of a free economic zone with Turkey, Armenia will facilitate the transit of goods that will contribute to the economic development of the country. The lack of diplomatic relations between Ankara and Yerevan will not be an obstacle to increase the trade.» In general, the experts think that the possibility of Turkey’s integration in the EEC is the desire of the Kazakhstan President, who generates the ideas of the Turkic world in the scopes of the Eurasian Economic Union, and this is proved by the fact that the possible integration issue is raised not by Erdogan or Putin, but by Nursultan Nazarbayev.