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Brussels Sees Problems With Armenia On Customs Union

European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fuele (file photo)
A top European Union official says the bloc is unlikely to initial an Association Agreement it has negotiated with Armenia as expected because of Yerevan’s declared choice to join the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan.

Stefan Fuele, European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy, made the remarks on September 6 after talks in Brussels with Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandyan.

Fuele said it is "difficult to imagine" the accord being initialed at a November summit in Vilnius as expected. He said Armenian obligations to the Customs Union and the EU agreement did not appear compatible.

Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian announced on September 2 that Armenia would join the Customs Union. Armenian officials said they would try to make provisions for a free-trade zone with the EU compatible with membership in the Customs Union.

With reporting by RFE/RL’s Armenian Service
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    Rikard Jozwiak

    Rikard Jozwiak is the Europe editor for RFE/RL in Prague, focusing on coverage of the European Union and NATO. He previously worked as RFE/RL’s Brussels correspondent, covering numerous international summits, European elections, and international court rulings. He has reported from most European capitals, as well as Central Asia.