by David Stepanyan
Armenia is rather an interesting example of whether the Eurasian countries are able to remain committed to the principle of "two pipes." Sergey Markedonov, a visiting fellow in the CSIS Russia and Eurasia Program, made such statement in an interview with ArmInfo.
"Although there are no ideological contradictions and differences in the social and economic systems of Russia, the US and the EU, it is more than evident today that the geopolitical choice of the former Soviet countries is getting smaller. The Ukrainian crisis that was speeded up with the heavy choice of Kyev between Europe and Russia once again arouses a question as to whether the Eurasian countries will remain committed to the so-called principle of 'the two pipes,' " Markedonov said.
He recalled that contradictory statements by acting Minister of Economy Vahram Avanesyan, who declared that the agreement of Armenia's accession to the Customs Union will be signed at least on 29 April, and refuted his own statement in a day. "On 29 April in Minsk the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council will meet with participation of the presidents. Eurasian integration is one of Moscow's foreign policy priorities and instruments of strengthening Russia's influence in the world. Today, taking into account that other post-Soviet countries may join the initial union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, reformation of the post-Soviet area looks quite promising," Markedonov said.
According to him, the meeting in Minsk will be held in a new reality following the precedent when a part of a post-Soviet subject becomes part of another post- Soviet subject.
If Abkhazia, South Ossetia, Nagorno Karabakh are considered as exceptions from the rule, the Crimea has openly demonstrated that there is no longer post-Soviet area defined by the Belovezhsky Agreement.
"The meeting in Minsk will inevitably demonstrate Russia's growing ambitions and geopolitical successes. I am sure that Moscow's integration projects can become at least a serious instrument for Eurasia's reformatting," the Russian analyst says.