Opening the first session of the Board of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) in the new part, newly appointed EEC chairman Tigran Sargsyan congratulated the Ministers on the start of a new phase of works aimed at the development of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). “We are aware of the major task to strengthen the integration processes within the Eurasian Economic Space that’s entrusted to us. We should be at the forefront of this movement and implement this task,” announced Tigran Sargsyan. It’s a sin not to use the opportunities that are given to Armenia in regards to the EEU chairmanship, especially in terms of the Turkish sanctions, — says Vladimir Lepekhin, head of the Institute of EurAsEC. “Over the past year in the bilateral relations between the EEU members we observed a situation where each country tried to drag the blanket: Belarus put stringent conditions before Russia, and vice versa, Kazakhstan did the same in relation to Kyrgyzstan. Similarly, today Armenia can firmly raise its own questions before Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan and achieve some privileges,” told RUSARMINFO Vladimir Lepekhin.
According to the expert, Armenia’s chairmanship of the EEU will increase the country’s prestige and give the opportunity to achieve a limited supply of those goods from other countries that are a priority in the Armenian export. Thus, Yerevan will be able to increase its exports to the EEU, seeking restrictions, such as import of Georgian or Moldovan wines in Russia. “Armenia is obliged to go for it not because Tigran Sargsyan is the EEC Chairman, but mainly based on the country’s full membership in the Eurasian Union,” outlined Vladimir Lepekhin. The expert believes Armenia should share with Russia the list of Armenian products that can replace the Turkish production in Russia, achieving Moscow’s approval to move from Turkish goods to Armenian production and not Iranian or Egyptian. On February 1, 2016 the Eurasian Economic Union chairmanship was transferred to Armenia. The decision to replace Viktor Khristenko with Tigran Sargsyan as the chairman of the EEC board was made on October 16, 2015 at the meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council.