YEREVAN, September 18. / ARKA /. Former Armenian prime minister Hrant Bagratyan says the authorities should hold a referendum to find out whether their country fellows want their country to become a member of the Russia-led Customs Union or not.
Bagratyan, an MP from the opposition Armenian National Congress (ANC), says this is the only way to make a decision based on the will of the people.
Speaking at a news conference Bagratyan, who served in the administration of Armenia’s first president Levon Ter-Petrosyan , said if Armenia had not started the process of integration with the European Union, Russia would have never wanted it in the Customs Union and the absence of a common border between Armenia and a Customs Union member country in this context does not play any role.
As for the economic practicability of Armenia’s accession to the Customs Union, Bagratyan said an ad hoc commission should be set up to look into what benefits Armenia would get from its membership.
Bagratyan also noted that the accession to the Customs Union would mean a gradual shift to the ruble zone.
According to Bagratyan, a e membership in the Customs Union would bring more Russian investment in Armenia and boost exports of Armenian brandy to Customs Union member countries. -0-