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 Friday, June 6 2014 13:43:46

Степанян Դավիթ Stepanyan Ստեփանյան David Давид

Yana Amelina: The West or Russia, that is the question

Yana Amelina: The West or Russia, that is the question

 The EAEU is often called a 'union of
dictators' for the known reasons. In Armenia, there are concerns that accession
to the EAEU will deteriorate the problems with democracy…


 


I don’t think that the EAEU is ‘often’ called
as a 'union of dictators.'  No one except
liberal journalists uses such expressions. I don’t know what ‘known reasons’ do
you mean, but Russia, Belarus, Armenia and Kazakhstan are known in the world as
rather democratic countries. There is no limit to perfection, though.
Nevertheless, speaking of dictatorship is rather odd in such case. I don't
think that accession to this inter-state union that, unfortunately, has only
one - economic component, may create any problems with democracy. Are there any
restrictions on the free elections, peaceful assemblies or independent press in
Armenia? Does the EAEU seek to make such restrictions? At least, look at how
openly we discuss all this. Doesn't it mean that everything is good?  We should not consider the West as the etalon
of democracy, should we?


 


Member of the Board - Minister in charge of the
Development of Integration and Macroeconomics Tatiana Valovaya has recently
expressed confidence that Armenia's joining the Eurasian Economic 
Union will increase the investment attraction
of the republic and Armenia will become a field for the Customs Union states
and other states to make investments. However, it is not clear, how Armenia's 
joining the EAEU is beneficial to the rest
members of the Union in the economic sense. Or maybe politics will recompense
everything?


 


I fully agree with Valovaya that it is really beneficial
to Armenia to join the EAEU. As for the political component, the situation on
Armenia's joining the EAEU is rather simple. 
The complex geo-political situation in the world requires strict
definition: the West or Russia, that is the question! And if the Russian Federation ensures Armenia's military
security, and de-facto, its existence as a state, is there any sense to try to
have good relations with permanent enemies of Russia?


  A few days ago Ambassador of Russia to
Armenia Ivan Volynkin told journalists that the sale of TOS-1A heavy
flamethrower systems and T-90 tanks to Azerbaijan was nothing but commerce.
Won’t that Russian-Azeri "commerce" lead to a new war in
Nagorno-Karabakh in light of more and more incidents reported from the
border?  


 


 Commerce is certainly a vice. Let's assume that
our Ambassador has used a wrong word. The real problem here is that Azerbaijan
can afford buying arms and not only from Russia and that war is the only way
for the Azeris – at least in theory – to solve the Nagorno-Karabakh problem in
their favor. There will be the threat of a new war in Nagorno-Karabakh as long
as this conflict remains a geopolitical problem. 


 I think the conflicting parties should try to
maintain the status quo. But the world is changing as quickly as is growing the
number of insane politicians and journalists. All this is fraught with both
local and global risks, which has been proved by the events in Ukraine.


 Experts are seriously concerned over the
high threat of the rapidly developing crisis in Ukraine to the U.S.-France-Russia
cooperation over Karabakh conflict as part of the OSCE MG…


 


Frankly speaking, I cannot understand what
cooperation is in question. I think the fruitless meetings of the OSCE MG
Co-Chairs will be continued also in future. They will adopt no decisions. This
became evident yet long ago. Nevertheless, an
inefficient negotiating format is better than military actions," she said
for conclusion.


 


The first meeting with the
president-elect Petro Poroshenko with Barack Obama openly indicated that  neither the loss of Crimea nor the threat of
the country’s spliting into two parts is able to re-orientate Kyev from the
West to the East. What scenario of developments do you anticipate?


 


What we are witnessing in Ukraine is a real
civil war. Much there will depend on what Russia will do. More and more people
are showing  displeasure with the
Kremlin's policy and demand more active interference in the events in Ukraine on both
diplomatic and military levels. And this is natural as most of the Russians
regard Ukraine as part of the all-Russian mental and geopolitical community and
have lots of friends and relatives in that country.


 


The bloodshed continuing in Ukraine for several
weeks already is horrifying and I am sure that Russia must interfere. Time will
show in what a form this will be done. In any case, the political and economic
chaos in Ukraine will continue to grow and this is fair: those who have voted
for Petro Poroshenko are worthy of this. Anyway, I have no doubts that Ukraine
will finally come under Russia’s influence and join the EAEU as a full member
of it.

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