Thanks to the Eurasian Economic Union the EU-Armenia agreement is fully cleared of the economic component and is “crystal” political.
On the contrary, the EAEU considers itself an economic union, insisting on forming a common market of employment, labor and services. The EAEU member states avoid politicization of the union.
The political scientists have never been able to identify whether politics determines economy or vice versa. For example, during the discussion of the initiative for Armenia’s withdrawal from the Eurasian Economic Union the head of the ARF parliamentary group of the Armenian parliament Armen Rustamyan asked: “Do you want a change of the foreign political bias of Armenia?”
In other words, leaving the economic union means change of the political bias. And what will the signing of a political agreement with the EU mean? Will it lead to economic integration?
Interestingly, neighboring Azerbaijan fears change in the “foreign political bias” of Armenia the most. Baku did not hide its excitement when the Armenian parliament rejected the initiative for leaving the EAEU. Now that Armenia is preparing to sign an agreement with the EU, there is an opinion that Azerbaijan is working with some EU member states to ensure they do not “manage” to translate the text to their languages. In this case, the signing will be delayed.
One can understand Azerbaijan’s wish to see Armenia within the EAEU. Not being a member state of this union, Azerbaijan can manipulate Armenia within the union. For example, when Armenia was joining the EAEU, the president of Kazakhstan read out Ilham Aliyev’s letter on the Karabakh issue.
A few months before the signing of the EU-Armenia agreement Aliyev tried to manipulate Brussels. Aliyev threatened Europe to leave the Council of Europe unless the concluding document of the summit in Brussels mentions territorial integrity of Azerbaijan beside that of Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia.
In answer to this the European Commission published the text of the agreement with Armenia which does not mention territorial integrity, and the settlement of the Karabakh issue is linked to the Helsinki concluding act on of its principles being self-determination.
In fact, the European Commission has decided to withdraw the Karabakh issue from the EU-Armenia relations. This indicates the importance of political relations with Armenia for Brussels, without economy.
It will hardly be possible with Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan insists on its territorial integrity in which Baku includes Karabakh. The EU will hardly agree to sign a document with Azerbaijan which will include Karabakh. Otherwise, the agreement with Armenia will be questioned.
Interestingly, the EEU has also decided to “blackmail” Azerbaijan with Armenia. Putin’s adviser Sergey Glazev has announced in Yerevan that Armenia’s consent is needed for Azerbaijan’s membership to the EEU. Baku is confused by this.