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Armenia's Economic Development Depends On Regional Stability, Says E

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  • Armenia's Economic Development Depends On Regional Stability, Says E

    13:33 20.09.2013

    Armenia's economic development will remain under question without a
    peaceful settlement of the military conflicts in the region, said an
    Armenian expert in am interview with Xinhua.

    For the last couple of years, Armenia has had the vision of
    transforming the resort town of Dilijan into a financial center of
    the South Caucasus region, but lacks necessary conditions such as
    stability in the region and good-neighborly relations, said Vahagn
    Khachaturyan, vice president of Political Legal Economic Research
    and Forecast Center (PLERF).

    A peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the
    situation in Abkhazia and South Ossetia are crucial to the economic
    development of the region, otherwise communications will not be
    exploited to their full strength, said Khachaturyan.

    The expert also stressed the importance of the railroad connecting
    landlocked Armenia with Iran, saying that "without an exit to the east,
    it will be quite difficult for Armenia to be involved in large-scale
    economic projects."

    Currently, Armenia is in isolation because of the Karabakh conflict.

    The pipeline Baku-Jeyhan and the railroad Baku-Tbilisi-Kars went past
    Armenia even though it would be much cheaper to go through the country,
    Khachaturyan said regretfully.

    To expand its transaction space, Armenia has concluded negotiations
    on a free trade deal with the European Union (EU), bringing it within
    reach of formalizing closer ties with the bloc at a summit in November.

    In addition, Armenia is getting ready to join a customs union grouping
    Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus.

    Regarding these two deals, Khachaturyan has his own opinions.

    He believes that the best option for Armenia would be the
    possibility of benefiting both from the Customs Union and the Deep and
    Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA), an economic and trade document
    with the EU, without necessarily joining one or the other structure.

    But for such a possibility, Armenia had to express its will in that
    regard openly, he added.