Armenia of no interest to EEU members, observer says
Armenia is a frontier province of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), and it has turned into a dead end, Armenian political observer Hakob Badalyan said.
“At the ministerial meeting of the EEU in Sochi, an exception of the union’s general rules was made for Armenia, thus allowing the country to open a free trade zone on the border with Iran, in Syunik province,” Badalyan wrote in his article on lragir.am.
“It is unlikely that this move required great effort from Armenia, since as a member of the EEU Armenia is of no interest to other members of the union.”
Badalyan said that Armenia doesn’t need free economic zones but a free competition, when the government doesn’t interfere in business and fights corruption.
This is while a free trade zone in Armenia means only legitimization of lack of freedom of other zones and economy in general, including criminal and oligarchic strata, he said.
“The need for legalization has increased due to the tightening of challenges, both internal and external ones,” Badalyan said. “This is both an issue of responsibility and deoffshorization (requirement for return of foreign assets of local companies to their home country) and different exposures of the financial activity of Armenian officials.”
“Armenian criminal oligarchy is trying to save the exported billions, and, on the other hand, it is moving closer towards the need to maintain at its own expense economic stability in Armenia,” he said. “In this case, free economic zones become a salvation.”