Newsfeed

Artashes Shaboyan: Reduction in consumer demand has a negative effect on supermarkets

Azerbaijan mounts another sabotage attack on Line of Contact, Armenian side has 1 victim and 2 wounded

Helsinki Citizens' Assembly Vanadzor Office urges Armenian Defense Ministry to look into military conscription of a kyphotic young man

Armenia suffers no losses during crossfire initiated by Azerbaijan on Armenian-Azeri border

Tigran Davtyan: If you have a telephone with you, it means that you have a wallet with you too

Armenia's former prime minister: The indicator of the economic growth in Armenia is extremely low for the first half of 2014

RPA: OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs’ latest statement was addressed to Azerbaijan

French citizen lost in Gegarkunik region of Armenia

RPA does not hurry to assess 100 day activity of Hovik Abrahamyan's government

Serzh Sargsyan sees no need in arming of population of border villages

Seyran Ohanyan: Armenia has been putting in place ‘engineering facilities’ along with other measures to prevent attempts by Azerbaijani sabotage groups to infiltrate into its territory

Charges brought against Levon Hayrapetyan

Azeri State Committee for Refugees: Issues of the return of Dilgam Asgarov and Shahbaz Guliyev and the transfer of Hasan Hasanov's dead body are under control of President Aliyev

Armenian Government tries to repay its debts by transferring state-owned enterprises' assets to a U.S. company

Armenian environmentalists comment on Red Book apes imported to Armenia

All U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Armenia are strongly encouraged to enroll in the Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program

The ICRC has already started talks to return Azeri saboteur's corpse, Azerbaijani State Committee says

Stepan Safaryan: OSCE Minsk Group prefers stroking naughty Azerbaijan

Edward Nalbandian advises his Azerbaijani counterpart not to use international arena for propaganda

Political expert: OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs want to lobby the meeting between Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan

Shmuel Meirom: Israel is willing to contribute of its experience in the field of economy, but it cannot force Israeli business to invest in Armenia

OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs express their serious concern about the increase in tensions and violence in Karabakh conflict zone

Heritage Party considers Volodya Avetisyan to be a political prisoner

Rostelecom expands its sales and customer service network

Arthur Grigoryan appointed commercial manager of mobile communication division at Beeline Armenia

Edward Nalbandian: Armenia wants to start a dialogue on abolishment of visa regime with EU

Edward Nalbandian: Unlike Azerbaijan, Armenia has been consistently proving its adherence to the principles of international law

No third tailing dump in Tukhmanuk

Edward Nalbandian: Turkey, which is striving to the EU, has shut down the border to the neighboring state, whereas a principle of free movement at the EU territory is one of the basic norms

Ali Hasanov: If international organizations can not resolve the conflict, let them step aside and the two neighboring states solve the problem themselves

Vladimir Dorokhin: None of the Azerbaijanis detained at the territory of Armenia are Russian citizens

"Mika cement" to replace owner

Deputy Prime Minister of Azerbaijan: The Azerbaijani people do not believe the OSCE Minsk Group

OSCE representative concerned about Armenia court decision forcing media outlets to disclose sources

Exclusive

Artashes Shaboyan: Reduction in consumer demand has a negative effect on supermarkets

Tigran Davtyan: If you have a telephone with you, it means that you have a wallet with you too

Shmuel Meirom: Israel is willing to contribute of its experience in the field of economy, but it cannot force Israeli business to invest in Armenia

Marine Karapetyan: Ameriabank on large business: problems and solutions

Eduard Sharmazanov: The opposition camp has no leader to steer the people

Alexander Zinker: Readiness of the Kremlin to protect its “Big Russian world” is dangerous for Russia itself

Vahe Davtyan: lternative power engineering should be developed regardless of fluctuations in electric power tariffs

Alexander Krylov: Taking into consideration the experience of the EU, Russia has to refuse maximal extension of the Eurasian Economic Union

Rasim Musabekov: Not only global but also the regional geo-political balance is changing

Zardusht Alizade: Apart, Armenia and Azerbaijan will always remain non-democratic fascist states

Thomas de Waal: What was possible between Sweden and Finland in the past century is impossible today between Armenia and Azerbaijan

Zhirayr Sefilyan: The format of our relations with Russia needs revision

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

Gia Nodia: Not the shortage of territories but finding a place in the world is the key problem of Russia

Vladimir Lepekhin: Russia has to pass from “soft force” regarding the USA to the “just force” concept

Marat Terterov: Oligarchic system of Armenian economy is the first obstacle in the way of signing of Association Agreement with EU

ArmInfo’s Interview with Director of European Geopolitical Forum (Brussels) Marat Terterov

  • by David Stepanyan

  • Friday, November 23, 19:21

 

There is an opinion that Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan has initiated “European-style remodeling” of Armenia. The ruling Republican Party of Armenia has repeatedly made pro-European statements. What is Brussels’ attitude towards these statements?    

 

Armenia is Russia's strategic partner in the Caucasus and a CSTO member. For this reason, we have got an impression that Armenia is under the Russian strategic umbrella in this region. At the same time, some people in NATO think that Armenia has got brilliant relations with NATO: several partnership programmes as well as different types of mellow cooperation with NATO. The same people think that unlike Georgia, which wishes to join NATO, Armenia is a good sample of a state, which can cooperate both with Russia and the western strong military force. As for the problem of European integration of Armenia at political and economic levels, the example of Armenia's communication with NATO is very interesting, as it is rather difficult for Armenia, as a post-Soviet country, to push the "delete" button regarding Russia.

 

Do you think the power elite of Armenia really has such a wish?

 

I don't think so, because the major part of Armenia's population permanently lives in Russia, not in Armenia. The Armenian Diaspora in the West consists of quite another type of people united by the Armenian idea, language, etc. And these people do not quite understand the local Armenians’ approach to a number of fundamental issues. Armenia is not Europe, North America or Australia. I understand that this may sound contradictory, but I assure you that in Europe, for instance in Brussels, it is very much easy to sell the idea that Armenia is Europe. I took part in many scientific and political discussions during which the Western Armenians were easily driving the idea that Armenia is a part of Europe and the EU and it should be within the European family. Even Russia is not a part of that family. Such a position of Diaspora even distances Armenia from Europe. Armenia is just a post-Soviet republic. It is neither France nor Western Europe.

 

Nor even Serbia…

 

Nor even Serbia, as by their organization, orders and standards the countries of the former Yugoslavia are much closer to Europe than the post-Soviet countries. For instance, the Serbian elite and youth easier integrate in Europe than the Armenian elite and youth.

 

In other words, the Armenian society itself is not ready for European integration… 

 

The Armenian society is a very long way from it. Yerevan's statements about its wish to integrate in Europe are not enough. One should not forget that Armenia’s leadership itself needs to voice its wish from time to time. As for the Baltic countries, today they feel safe in the European Union, as they trust in the "mellow" military force of Europeans more than Russians. Armenia and the rest of the post-Soviet countries should strive for political alliances, as it is vitally necessary for them. Only the countries that have an energy sector are an exception: Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan. In this context, the statements by the leadership of Armenia about Armenia's intention to integrate in Europe are an absolutely normal phenomenon. The system of the European Union is first of all based on law-obedience. For this reason, when voicing an intention to integrate in this system, the Armenian authorities make us understand that one can invest big funds in the stable and law-obedient country. This shows that Armenia is not a cowboy territory or a "wild east". In this context, the government of Armenia is simply obliged to voice similar statements from time to time.

 

Let’s talk about the prospects of conclusion of the Association Agreement between the EU and Armenia. 

 

I think that via signing of such an agreement Europe is trying to bring more stability, legality to the south of the Caucasus and to promote discussion among the South Caucasus states. In other words, the Association Agreement is a part of a general process on normalization of the situation in your region. This agreement will deepen the link between the region and Europe even more, taking into account the economic orientation of the agreement. The prospects for implementation of this agreement are not clear yet, as there are some obstacles in that way. The European parliament is not only a platform of pluralism but also a platform of lobbyism in Brussels.  This means that for approval of any project drawn out by the European Commission, the project should pass through the European Parliament, which has a rather harsh attitude to many sensitive issues in the post-Soviet territory. First of all, the matter concerns the human rights violation in the former USSR countries. Therefore, the European Parliament, certainly, raises problems linked with elections in Armenia and the fact that many of your laws do not meet European standards. It is these factors that affect the prospects of signing the Association Agreement. Such is the reality, which hinders such countries like Armenia to come closer to Europe in a certain sense. For this reason, the process will be long enough.  Moscow and Brussels have been trying to sign an agreement on strategic partnership for more than 5 years.

 

Will you name the first obstacle for Armenia?  

 

 The oligarchic system of the Armenian economy is the first obstacle. Joining any international organization supposes destruction of such a system. However, the availability of oligarchs is peculiar not only to Armenia but practically to any post-Soviet state.

 

Armenia is intensively invited to join the Customs Union in order to further join the quite vague Eurasian Union. What may such a project give Armenia?  

 

I’d like to see the intensive development of that project, as I support the idea of creation of a certain Soviet Union light. Actually, such kind of a formation may provide very many positive factors for development of the post-Soviet area. In this area a lot of inter-ethnic, confessional, territorial, social problems arose after the collapse of the USSR. I think that creation of such a formation will contribute to removal of some of these problems. For instance, some experts think that Belgium is on the brink of disintegration now. Certainly, there will be no bloodshed, but it will still be very hard to decide who will be the owner of Brussels. However, even if Belgium becomes detached from the European Union, both of them will all the same remain in the European area. Scotland and Catalonia are also such examples. Europe itself would benefit from the creation of the Eurasian Union, as it would be much easier for the European Union to cooperate with the countries of the post-Soviet space.  However, I do not see a specific legal framework yet, which would allow implementing the project on creation of the Eurasian area. For the time being we only see the political statements from Moscow, Minsk and Almaty. Consequently, it is a bit early now to expect Yerevan to outline its foreign political priorities under these conditions.

Send to a friend

To (e-mail)


Your name


Message


Comments

View comments (0)
  • READ ALL COMMENTS
  • POST A COMMENT

Be first to comment on this article

* Indicates required fields