YEREVAN, September 12. / ARKA /. Chairman of the Union of Armenian Domestic Commodity Producers Vazgen Safarian defended today president Sargsyan’s decision to make Armenia a member of the Russian-led Customs Union saying it is going to have a positive impact on the economy.
"Membership in the Customs Union will become a direct stimulus for the development of the Armenian economy. In the recent past we and Russia shared a common economic area, industrial and economic culture, our factories worked by using similar technology," Safarian said on Thursday.
Safarian brushed aside as groundless fears that by joining the Customs Union Armenia will lose its political independence.
"No country in the world - from the U.S. to Mozambique- is absolutely independent. All countries are in a certain economic, political and military-strategic dependence on each other," he said.
Safarian said Armenia may offer to its future partners in the union brandies, agricultural, industrial products and textile goods.
Safarian added that a membership in the Customs Union does not mean Armenia will have to cut its ties with Europe. "Those who are engaged in trade with the EU countries should continue it, because Europe needs the goods we export, especially ore and raw materials," he said.
According to the National Statistical Service of Armenia, Armenian exports to EU in January-December 2012 amounted to $560.3 million and that to Russia , Kazakhstan and Belarus, which make the Customs Union- to about $293 million
In January -June 2013 this year Armenian exports to EU dropped by 3 percent year-on-year to $250. 5 million, while exports to the Customs Union member countries grew to $149.4 million from $125 in the first half of last year. -0-