YEREVAN, February 14. / ARKA /. Russian president Vladimir Putin’s decision to treat unrecognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia as subjects of the Customs Union is an important precedent for Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Gagik Minasyan, head of an Armenian parliament committee on finance and budget issues from the ruling Republican Party of Armenia, told a news conference today.
As previously reported by Russian news agency RIA Novosti, on December 22, Putin signed laws on ratification of trade agreements with Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
According to Minasyan, these laws in fact have removed all customs barriers between the Russian Federation and the two breakaway Georgian provinces and the territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, not recognized by two other members of the Customs Union- Kazakhstan and Belarus as independent republics- have become the territory of the Customs Union.
Minasyan said that this fact has become an important precedent for Armenia in the context of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem.
Speaking at a Customs Union summit late last year that approved a ‘roadmap’ for Armenia’s accession to the trade bloc Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev expressed reservations about Armenian membership because of the unresolved Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
“The question of the Custom Union’s border, where it will pass in Armenia, remains open. Therefore, we will sign the roadmap with the colleagues but with a special opinion that will be reported to the Armenian side,” Nazarbayev said at a meeting with Russia’s Vladimir Putin and Belarus’ Aleksandr Lukashenko in reference to Armenia’s border with the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and the absence of any Armenian customs posts there.
According to Minasyan, Nazarbayev’s reservations applied similarly to Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
He said after Armenia joins the Russia-led trade union Nagorno-Karabakh will also be part of it, even being not recognized by Belarus and Kazakhstan, as is the case with Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
This, according to him, will mean an economic recognition of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.
Minasyan said also that Armenian leaders have repeated that Armenia will not tax goods coming from Karabakh even after joining the trade bloc. -0-