During the presidential session of EAEU member countries Moldova was granted the status of observer in the union. Moldova, which has signed an Association Agreement (AA) with the EU, will attempt to assume the role of a “bridge”. However, Ashot Yeghiazaryan, Doctor on Economy, expressed doubt in this regard. He told 168.am that the observer status is generally an incomprehensible condition, which may be enshrined by the agreement, however, it can’t cause in-depth change in relations of the organization with a third country.
“After establishment of EAEU it was generally stated that numerous countries attempt to cooperate, sign a free trade agreement with that union, however, until now only 1 country has signed it—Vietnam, which signed it with exceptions. Names of more than 40 countries have been given, neither of which has signed it. If they signed, that would mean legitimize EAEU in external world, which would cause issues for those countries in relations with other countries, as EAEU, as a structure, isn’t legitimately accepted in the West and is observed as a political project to satisfy Russia’s imperialistic aspirations,” Yeghiazaryan said.
According to him Moldova’s case is peculiar, as it’s conditioned by the personal moves of the country’s president, “He is perceived as Russia’s person, but Moldova has a parliament, a PM, legally it has AA with the EU and this is more serious. Observer status isn’t serious and there will be no U-turn to EAEU. Just the contrary, president’s demonstrative behavior probably will find its assessment by the parliament of Moldova. And by that Russia attempts to provide external legitimacy for EAEU in the world, at least in form of memorandums, observers.”
Asked whether Moldova may be a contestant to Armenia regarding the status of a “bridge”, as Armenian officials also insist that Armenia is going to be a bridge between the EU and EAEU, the economist said, “Neither Moldova, nor Armenia can be a bridge. A country, which is a Customs Union member, can’t be a member of a similar union. They are demonstrative gestures aimed at bypassing contrasts. However, incompatibility and contrast exists and no one can bypass it.”
By Gayane Khachatryan