It only requires a glance at the dance-floor showdown in the Soviet cult-comedy “Mimino” to see that competition between the tiny South-Caucasus neighbors of Georgia and Armenia can run strong. No less so with economic alliances.
“I had the same feeling for Georgia today as many years ago with regard to the Baltic countries [when they joined the European Union in 2004] -- regret, jealousy and pain . . .” bitterly commented 60-year-old Yerevan historian Anahit Chilingarian on June 27, when Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine signed historic pacts with the EU.
Until last fall, many Armenians believed that their country, too, like Georgia, was headed toward an association agreement and free-trade deal with the European Union. Then, on September 3, 2013, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan unexpectedly announced Armenia’s “willingness” to join the trade-club seen as the EU-alternative -- a customs union with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
Now, while Georgia celebrates its closer ties with the EU, Armenia appears to be still in the Customs Union’s waiting room.
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