Nalbandian: Racism and racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance grossly violate human dignity and give rise to tensions within and between societies. That is why the fight against them became one of the main priorities of our chairmanship.
by Emmanuil Mkrtchyan
Russian Co-Chair of the Armenian-Russian Committee for Parliamentary Cooperation, Head of the Council of Federation Committee for Natural Monopolies Nikolay Ryzhkov suffers from misinformation aimed against the role of Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko and expansion of the Customs Union.
After the meeting with the heads of the CIS media outlets in Minsk, new channels disseminated misinformation saying that Lukashenko allegedly linked Armenia's admission to the Customs Union with the official stance of Baku and the Karabakh conflict.
Commenting on "hoax" at the request of journalists, Ryzhkov recommended the president of Belarus 'to mind his own business' at the same time noting that Alexander Lukashenko 'is rather reasonable person.'
To recall, when replying to ArmInfo's question during the Oct 21 meeting with the heads of the CIS news agencies, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko did not rule out provision of a special status to the so-called unrecognized or partially recognized state formations within the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space, which is under formation. He stressed that the idea had not been discussed and he was not ready to give any reply himself. "But this topic may be considered", said Lukashenko. He shared the opinion that the economies of these unrecognized formations (Karabakh, Transnistria, Abkhazia, South Ossetia) are fully integrated into the Customs Union countries' economies, as well as into the economies of the countries that are going to join the Customs Union (Armenia - editor's note). He also agreed that it would be wrong to pose economic obstacles in the way of these formations, especially given the tragic moments in their histories.
To note, the President of Belarus only stressed that Armenia cannot join the Customs Union in the near future. To do it, Yerevan should implement all the procedures and adopt at the legislative level all those normative documents, which have been already drawn out, he said. "At the moment the matter concerns a half-step to be taken by Armenia to be with us", he said.
Independent political observers say that the wave of misreports over expansion of the Customs Union is connected exclusively with the process of "lapping" of the three major players of the Union wherein certain political forces try to turn Armenia and other CIS countries into "fractional coins."