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 Monday, August 4 2014 18:51:26

Степанян Դավիթ Stepanyan Ստեփանյան David Давид

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

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


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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