Expert: Customs Union will not be an alternative to EU for Turkey
Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 28 / Trend R. Hafizoglu /
The Customs Union of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, to which Turkey was invited, will not be an alternative to the EU for this country, director of the Turkish Institute of Strategic Thinking, Doctor of Social Sciences, Professor Yasin Aktay told Trend over phone from Ankara.
Earlier it was reported that Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev proposed to accept Turkey as a member of the Customs Union.
"The Turkish President came to me with a request to join our Customs Union. Let's accept Turkey," Nazarbayev said at the meeting of the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council in Minsk.
Aktay added that when Turkey became a member of the Customs Agreement with the EU in 1994, this was expected to harm the economic interests of the country. However, this agreement has strengthened Turkey's economy as the domestic economic competition intensified in the country.
The expert stressed that Turkey's membership in this agreement does not mean that Ankara would not be interested in joining the Eurasian Customs Union.
"At present, one of Ankara's priorities is to develop the economic relations with all countries," he said.
He also stressed that Ankara has been holding a policy of developing the free economy for the last 10 years.
According to him, being a participant of the customs agreement with Europe, Ankara can negotiate to join the Eurasian Customs Union.
Earlier the Turkish Foreign Ministry reported that Ankara has not received an official proposal to join the Eurasian Customs Union.
The statement also said that the negotiations were held with Turkey to join the organization a year ago, but at the moment they lost their relevance.
The Eurasian customs union is a form of trade and economic integration of the Republic of Belarus, Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation which ensures a single customs territory.
Customs duties and restrictions of economic nature are not used in the mutual trade of goods with the exception of special protective, antidumping and countervailing measures within this territory. The member countries of the customs union apply a unified customs tariff and other common measures to regulate trade in goods with third countries.
The Customs Union of the three countries began operating in January 2012. Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Syria, Vietnam, New Zealand and Armenia have expressed a desire on making accession to the Customs Union. The Customs Union member countries have already supported Armenia and Kyrgyzstan's intention to join the Customs Union.