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Eduard Sharmazanov: Ter-Petrosyan's stories were the most juicy part of the Friday opposition rally

Russian Ambassador: Armenia's accession to Eurasian Economic Union was a wise strategic decision

Armenian Foreign Minster says Baku seeks to fail the Karabakh negotiations with its efforts to change their format

Exposition of "Open Game" Championship of Computer and Mobile Games to take place on the 26th of October

French parliamentarian Valerie Boyer introduces new bill criminalizing genocide denial

Beeline and Cafesjian Center for the Arts launch two free of charge education programs

In Jan-Sept 2014 Areximbank-Gazprombank Group registered 63% growth in foreign exchange transfers through SWIFT

Levon Ter-Petrosyan: In Eurasian Economic Union Armenia will not be less sovereign than Russia, Kazakhstan or Belarus

Gagik Tsarukyan says his Party may demand power change

Levon Ter-Petrosyan: Armenia is experiencing a strong wave that seeks change of power and has all chances to succeed

Opposition four parties marching along Yerevan streets

Raffi Hovannisian: There will be a legal revolution in Armenia

Aram Manukyan: Armenian people seeks to govern the country

Expert: Only Azerbaijan gains from Serzh Sargsyan's policy

Vartan Oskanian: The system can be broken only through a power change

NASDAQ OMX Armenia provides ArmSwissBank with a status of market maker of National Mortgage Company's bonds

Chief of Russia's Federal Customs Service: Russia is not going to interfere in customs activities on Armenian-Nagorno-Karabakh border

Sharmazanov: Nobody, even if he wants very much, can name at least one fact which is evidence of incapability of the Armenian authorities

Oppositionist: Opposition's task during its rallies is to make best of people's resolution to change ruling regime

A member of the parliament from ARFD wishes success to the opposition three

RPA member: The opposition three is unpredictable

VivaCell-MTS has invested 55 million AMD for the housing project in the borderland villages of Armenia and Fuller Center for Housing Armenia has undertaken the implementation of the project

Head of Russian Federal Customs Service: Russia does not intend to interfere in customs officers' activities on border between Armenia and Karabakh

Serzh Sargsyan's message to Washington: We believe that the whole of mankind should be consistent in the recognition, condemnation and exclusion of denialism of genocides

CJSC Armenian Copper Programme reduces blister copper production 9,8% for nine months of 2014

Ex-governor of Vayots Dzor, Edgar Ghazaryan - an ambassador to Poland

Sargsyan-Aliyev-Hollande meeting to take place on 27 October

Serzh Sargsyan: Germany is Armenia's vital partner and a friendly country

Edward Sharmazanov: The breakthrough in the Karabakh process depends on the position of Baku

OSCE MG Co-chairs share expectations from upcoming meeting of Azerbaijani and Armenian Presidents in Paris

Former premier of Armenia calls on the government to change methodology of GDP calculation

Parliament member: A draft law has been submitted to the parliament that has nothing in common with residents of the bordering communities

Expert: Deposits with radioactive elements in a scattered state are being developed in Armenia

Parliamentarian: On 2 Jan 2015, Armenia will find itself in quite new economic environment, something that Government is absolutely not ready for

Governor of Armenia's Vayots Dzor Region relieved of his duties upon his own request

Environmentalists to protest against shooting of wolves

Armenian MP: Armenia has crossed the red line of economic security

"Grozniy-Avia" airline to launch Simferopol-Yerevan flight

Beeline launches "Unlimited Internet Super" service

ACBA-CREDIT AGRICOLE BANK opens new branch in Yerevan

Tigran Khzmalyan: Armenia has linked its Noah's Arc to Russia's sinking Titanik that is still selling tickets

Irina Kamkhadze: We see no downward tendency of Visa growth rates in Armenian market

VTB Bank (Armenia) Visa cardholder becomes winner of Summer with VTB campaign and gets a vacation package to Malta for two persons

Delegation of IFC and EBRD visits Amulsar Gold Project site

Oppositionist: The case with ASALA veteran demonstrates state terrorism in Armenia

Armenia's Health Care Ministry organizes a training course to assess local doctors' readiness for Ebola

Naira Zohrabyan: There is no sector in Armenia where human rights are not breached

Speaker of the Armenian parliament agrees to the idea that there are numerous unsettled conceptual problems in the republic

Gabor Brodi: Armenia must not choose between European Union and its neighbors in the region

A delegation of South Caucasus Railway to attend 61st meeting of CIS Rail Transport Council in Baku

Sergey Grinyayev:The West’s sanctions are extremely positive for the Eurasian Union project

ArmInfo’s Interview with Director of the Russian Center for Strategic Assessments and Forecasts Sergey Grinyayev

  • by David Stepanyan

  • Monday, August 4, 22:51

In its sanctions against Moscow, the West is already applying tough measures even against its own companies operating in Russia, which has already resulted in outflow of capital and technologies from Russia. How would you assess the possible impact of the sanctions on the Russian economy in the future?  

 

The West's sanctions are hurting the Russian economy as it is strongly dependent on foreign technologies. This is the result of the liberal policy our authorities have been carrying out over the past decade. Had the sanctions been imposed in the Soviet times, we would have had no problems. But today we have very few industries of our own and are heavily dependent on imports.  Even our key defense sectors depend on imports.

 

The Customs Union was designed exactly to save Russia's economy. This is why the West is chocking Russia with sanctions. But they in the West are also weak. Undermined by the global crisis, they are no longer as strong and unanimous as they were before. So, it is not yet clear who will suffer more from the sanctions: right after the second phase of the sanctions, the stocks of European companies fell 15%. Besides, the West is not the only one in the world, we also have Asia and South America.

 

Can the West’s sanctions against Russia affect the formation of the Customs and Eurasian Unions given that the other potential member states (e.g. Armenia) have close economic ties with Russia? Won’t the international isolation of Russia make the countries leave its integration projects?     

 

The current sanctions of the West are extremely positive for the whole Eurasian Union project. It is better to determine who is who now that the project is in the initial phase and Russia has not yet started supporting the partners' economies. If they run away, let them do it now. The brightest example is Ukraine. This country has been trying to keep a foot in both worlds for many years by giving out promises to everybody and getting support from both Moscow and Brussels. Things do not just happen. The failure of such strategy is obvious and vivid today.

 

Therefore, everything will depend on the members and the potential members of the Customs Union.  Will they be ready to overcome the difficulties together with Russia or will they join our rivals?  The idea of the Eurasian Union is relevant like never before given that the growth of economies of Asian countries, first of all, China and India, demands expansion of economic ties with the rest of the world. He thinks that such ties can most effectively and safely be laid from China to Africa via the Black Sea straits and to Western Europe via Minsk, as well as from China to Europe and the United States. It is these transport corridors that will ensure the vitality of the financial center. And here each of the members of the Union should decide its own station.

 

Do you agree with the opinion that Crimea will soon turn into another "black hole" for Russia like Chechnya, where billions of Russian taxpayers are pumped?

 

No, I don’t. Russia has received one more landlocked sea since Crimea has been back to Russia, and no one will likely be able to mount a serious resistance to Russia in the Black Sea. Crimea is an immense potential, because one of the sections of the Great Silk Road will be laid via Crimea and will go farther via the Black Sea straits to the Mediterranean Sea and to Africa, which is so interesting to China today. The unification of Crimea and Russia is quite beneficial to Russia and the whole Eurasian Union. Today I would not call even Chechnya a "black hole". The situation is gradually changing for the better.

 

Will Russia’s expulsion from the G8 bring real problems to Russia?

 

Expulsion from the G8 will not be a big problem for Russia as its involvement in this structure was mostly a symbol of its being part of the western civilization. Russia still has no access to the G8's finances and has no say in most of its decisions. Such formats are good as long as they foster dialogue but once they are used for pressure they are no longer needed. Instead Russia will strengthen its influence within the G20 and some other much more effective international formats.

 

Do you agree with the experts linking the escalation of the Karabakh conflict with the tense situation in the southeast of Ukraine?  

 

The current situation makes me agree with the experts linking the escalation of the Karabakh conflict with the tense situation in other countries. I mean the escalating conflict in the southeast of Ukraine and the growing tension on the Line of Contact of the Azerbaijani and Karabakh troops. Evidently, there is a link between these two geopolitical 'playgrounds' in the Russia-West game. We have repeatedly predicted such developments before. Not to allow the situation to grow worse, Armenia and Russia need to come out from a single position at least on acute geopolitical issues. That is, Armenia must actively support Russia's policy in Syria, Transcaucasia and southeast of Ukraine, while Moscow will more actively engage in the Karabakh peace process. At the same time, together we will get quite new opportunities to resist the West's pressure and will avoid finding ourselves alone against that cunning enemy.

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