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Armenia To Join Russian-Led Eurasian Economic Union In October

Antigovernment activists demonstrate against Armenia's membership of a Russian-led customs union during a state visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Yerevan in December 2013.

Armenian officials say they expect their country to join the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EES) in October.

Talking to journalists in Yerevan on July 17, Armenian Prime Minister Ovik Abramian said an agreement allowing Armenia to join the union will be signed by the end of October.

Media reports earlier in the week quoted Kazakh Foreign Minister Erlan Idrisov as saying that Armenia would join the EES in October.

The EES was established on the basis of a Moscow-led customs union by the presidents of its member states -- Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan -- in Astana on May 29.

It is scheduled to officially start functioning from January 1, 2015.

Moscow has been pressuring former Soviet republics to join its customs union and the EES, saying the latter will be modeled after the European Union.

Based on reporting by and RIA Novosti