YEREVAN — Russian President Vladimir Putin confirmed on Tuesday that Armenia will join the Eurasian Economic Union in the nearest future.

Putin said at consultations of Russian Ambassadors and Permanent Representatives that “the Eurasian Union is not an attempt to alienate from the rest of the world.”

“The Eurasian integration process is progressing, but we are not alienating from the rest of the world. We are ready to discuss the perspectives of establishment of free trade zones with both separate countries and regional organizations, first of all the European Union,” he said, RIA Novosti reports.

“Armenia will become a full member of the Union in the nearest future. Negotiations with Kyrgyzstan are in an advanced stage. We are open to other countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States, as well,” Putin stressed.

Meanwhile, the executive body of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) has drafted an accession treaty with Armenia and sent it to the bloc’s three member states for approval, a senior Armenian official said on Tuesday.

According to Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharian, the Eurasian Economic Commission has thus met a July 1 deadline that was set by the presidents of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan at their May 29 summit in Astana.

“Yesterday the Eurasian Economic Commission sent the already prepared draft agreement to the parties,” he told reporters. “In that sense, everything is going according to plan.”

Kocharian could not say just when the treaty will be signed, arguing that the text needs to be examined and approved by the three member states as well as Armenia. “We hope that [the approval process] won’t take very long,” he said.

Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian admitted last week that the accession process is taking longer than was expected by Yerevan. Abrahamian refused to be drawn on possible dates for its completion. “Things will be clear after the July 3 meeting,” he said without elaborating.

Kocharian denied many observers’ belief that Belarus and especially Kazakhstan are not eager to admit Armenia into their alliance with Russia.

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev reinforced that belief when he stated at the Astana summit that the treaty in question must make clear that Armenia is joining the EEU with its internationally recognized borders that do not encompass Nagorno-Karabakh. Nazarbayev said Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev demanded this in letters sent to his Russian, Belarusian and Kazakh counterparts.

It is not yet clear whether the draft treaty contains such a reference.

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