by Tatevik Shahunyan
Armenia will be able to keep its neutrality on Ukraine between the two geopolitical centers - the West and Russia, Head of Modus Vivendi Center Ara Papyan and Head of Noravank Foundation Gagik Harutyunyan said at a press conference on Tuesday.
Papyan said that Russia will exert pressure on Armenia in the matter of recognition of the Crimea's independence. Harutyunyan replied that Russia exerted no pressure on Armenia in the matter of recognition of independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Then Papyan pointed out the West's possible sanctions against Russia, as a measure of pressure on Moscow, will also affect Armenia as Russia's partner. He thinks that Russia has always been defeated by the West.
Harutyunyan disagrees with that viewpoint. He thinks that it is very hard to isolate Russia's strong economy. He said that the sanctions against Russia will make the sanction initiators suffer losses.
As regards Armenia's accession to the Customs Union, Harutyunyan considers it to be a justified step, because Armenia has been integrating into the economic space of its closest political, military and strategic partner.
Papyan, in turn, said that Armenia's accession to the Customs Union will result in growth of prices and migration. He stressed that Armenia's accession to the Customs Union will not solve the problems of security either because he thinks that Azerbaijan gave up the military solution to the Karabakh conflict long ago. He thinks that the forthcoming visits of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and US Secretary of State John Kerry to Armenia will be of much importance to Armenia.
"Today Armenia is of some interest as a transit country for export of oil and gas from Iran to Europe. If Armenia fails to perform that function, it will lose its interest for both the West and Iran", he said.