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Eduard Sharmazanov: Russia and Turkey will remain rivals and competitors

Zakharova about Karabakh peace process: There are issues that should be hushed up

Naira Zohrabyan to Serzh Sargsyan: Prosperous Armenia Party will win in upcoming parliamentary elections

Masis Mailyan : Baku intends to continue its "military diplomacy" with impunity

Deputy minister: Creation of a joint air defense system with Russia will only strengthen combat ability of Armenian armed forces

South Caucasus Railway CJSC sets car to auction

Beeline improves Smart tariff plans

Armenian political forces express different opinions about influence of possible Moscow-Ankara normalization on Armenia

Areximbank-Gazprombank Group offers 50% discount for renting safe deposits boxes during summer holidays

Sergey Lavrov to travel to Yerevan

Ban Ki-moon: UN concerned over violations of ceasefire in Karbakh conflict zone

Defense sure Zhirayr Sefulyan's arrest is a political order

Sharmazanov explains Serzh Sargsyan's interview: If Armenia's citizens are reluctant to vote for RPA, no one will make them do it

Rostelecom holds two seminars on sidelines of Hartak Festival

Paul Stronski: Yerevan’s security alliance with Moscow will not impede Armenia’s good ties with NATO

Armenian President: Armenia expects wider recognition of Genocide after German vote and pope's remarks

Nikol Pashinyan: Consensus on Electoral Code is ridiculous

Turkey's foreign ministry reacts to Pope Francis' visit to Armenia

By beginning of tourism season Areximbank-Gazprombank Group offers significant discounts of premium class chip cards

Geoteam CJSC is sure that mining industry is compatible with agriculture and small business

UNICEF Armenia launches a breast feeding campaign in Armenia

Activist hits parliamentarian Hrant Bagratyan during picket in front of Parliament against Joint Air Defense system with Russia

Ankara: Turkey wants speedy settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which will meet all requirements of Azerbaijan

Turkologist: Ankara has used up all its possibilities to deny Armenian Genocide

Heritage Party: Joint Air Defense with Russia is an attempt to surrender the last elements of Armenia's sovereignty

David Harutyunyan: Next conference of donors will take place in Yerevan on June 29

Frank-Walter Steinmeier to travel to Armenia on June 29

Armenians and Azerbaijanis should take efforts towards peace, Pope Francis says

Opposition MP condemns political persecution against Zhirayr Sefilyan

Ancient Armenian city Ani may become UNESCO World Heritage Site

Tickets for Russian trains can be acquired at Yerevan railway station

"We Are the Owners of Our Country" initiative picketing Parliament building opposing ratification of agreement on joint air defense system with Russia

Pope Francis: "I am happy to have visited Armenia"

Sharmazanov: OSCE MG should react very strongly to Aliyev's refusal to implement arrangements made in Vienna and St. Petersburg

Pope Francis leaves Armenia ending his pastoral visit

Pope Francis and Catholicos of All Armenians visit Khor Virap Monastery at the foot of Ararat and launch doves of peace

Aliyev says Azerbaijani armed forces seized part of Karabakh districts during April aggression

Serzh Sargsyan: Pope Francis' calls for peace and tolerance are a powerful signal for peaceful settlement of regional problems

Serzh Sargsyan: I am sure we will find the best possible option of settlement for Nagorno-Karabakh people

President of Armenia calls on Armenians worldwide to unite to settle the three fundamental issues of the Armenian people

Karekin II and Pope Francis sign Common Declaration: "We express our hope for a peaceful resolution of the issues surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh"

Armenian President: We are grateful to Pope Francis for visiting Armenia and showing warm attitude to Armenian people

Vatican reacts to Turkey’s criticism: “Pope has never been on a Crusade, he tries to build peace rather than to wage war”

Pope Francis: “May the Armenian Church walk in peace and may the communion between us be complete.”

Karekin II: The processes of secularism are intensifying, spiritual and ethical values and views are distorted, and the family structure, established by God, is being shaken

Pontifical Divine Liturgy underway in the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin at the St. Trdat Open Air Altar

Ilham Aliyev: Nagorno-Karabakh will never get independence

Karekin II: More practical steps must be taken by Christian churches on the road to searching for peace

Pope to Armenian people: Your sufferings are our own

Pope Francis participates in ecumenical meeting with Patriarch of Armenian Apostolic Church, Karekin II, in Yerevan

Regional

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

  • Tuesday, August 5, 03:51

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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