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Armenia Seeking Customs Union Membership

by Ulrika Lomas, Tax-News.com, Brussels

13 September 2013


Lithuania's Foreign Minister has warned that Armenia's participation in a deep and comprehensive free trade area within the European Union may be incompatible with its request for membership of the Customs Union of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia.

Lithuania currently holds the EU Presidency. Linas Linkevicius met with his Armenian counterpart Edward Nalbandian earlier this week, when the ministers discussed the request. Linkevicius stressed that further consultations were needed to assess the situation, and cautioned that, were Armenia to join the CIS member states' Customs Union, the move would "diminish Armenia's ambitions of integration and cooperation with the EU."

Linkevicius added that Armenia should not take a step that could waste what it has achieved during its five year participation in the Eastern Partnership Agreement.

Earlier this week, Nalbandian held talks with the European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy. He reiterated Armenia's readiness to continue its broad cooperation with the EU in a variety of areas, and said that this would not contradict the country's membership of the Customs Union.

TAGS: tax | European Commission | Armenia | agreements | trade | European Union (EU) | Lithuania | Europe

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