Armenia is turning its back on Europe with a decision to join a Russia-led customs union.
The country is going with its former soviet master instead of signing up to a European free trade agreement – dealing a blow to the EU’s Eastern Partnership policy.
The decision came after Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan met with his counterpart Vladimir Putin.
“We have exchanged opinions on issues of Eurasian
integration,” said Sargsyan.
“And I confirmed Armenia’s wish to enter the customs union
and to join the process of forming of the Eurasian Economic
If all goes to plan, Armenia will join not only join Russia in the union, but also Belarus and Kazakhstan.
Charles Tannock, a British Conservative MEP, said Russia had been using “extreme bullying tactics” with its neighbours.
“I understand that the President of Armenia went to Moscow, was summoned by President Putin, and told that if he went ahead with his euro-atlantic aspirations, in terms of getting closer to the EU by having this free trade agreement, that would be the end of Russian security guarantees,” he said.
Armenia’s decision is a political boost for Putin, who is struggling to stop Ukraine from turning towards the European Union.