Eurasian Economic Union to meet in Yerevan

The Eurasian Economic Union Intergovernmental Council (EAEU) is scheduled to meet in Yerevan today. Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia have

Armenia EEC

Photo: Presidential Press and Information Office

The Eurasian Economic Union Intergovernmental Council (EAEU) is scheduled to meet in Yerevan today.

Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia have confirmed their attendance while Kyrgyzstan is unlikely to attend due to political unrest. While issues such as resuming passenger traffic within the EAEU, removing market exemptions and restrictions and cross border e-commerce were intended for discussion, expect the deteriorating Armenian-Azerbaijani relations to be prioritised given the intensifying conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Armenia and Azerbaijan both claim the disputed area. Yerevan is considering officially recognising Nagorno-Karabakh’s independence from Azerbaijan, while Baku is sticking to the UN Security Council resolution adopted in 1993. Russian energy interests and Turkish strategic interests are also stalling any resolution. The EAEU is likely to seek a ceasefire and deliberate on humanitarian aid provision to Armenia. Russia’s support for peace talks is likely to align with Armenia’s needs. However, Azerbaijan is likely to call for the withdrawal of Armenian troops for any agreement to be viable.

Beyond the Caucasus conflict, the EAEU will continue to encourage and incentivise closer economic cooperation between the members. Yet, with pandemic-induced economic challenges, regional tensions on the rise and clashes between different powers, the prospects for this region look bleak.

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