Baku, Azerbaijan, April 3
Elmira Tariverdiyeva - Trend:
Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan has decided to write his name into the history books, but late, and with small letters.
Submitting an appeal on resignation, Sargsyan did not manage to save his image, which noticeably suffered after Yerevan spat on all agreements with the West and voluntarily surrendered to the Customs Union.
Reasons for resignation are obvious - the unsuccessful policies of Sargsyan, who sent Armenia's already anaemic economy into a coma; the policies of the Armenian president who did not support the prime minister's European aspirations; and of course the Kremlin's discontent over the PM, who is supporting Armenia's right for European integration.
In fact, Sargsyan just lost himself. On one hand, the PM said he was ready to sign an agreement on economic association with the EU, and on the other hand he was negotiating to join the Customs Union.
The prime minister's pro-Western orientation was also like a bone in the throat to a handful of Armenian oligarchs who run the political and economic systems of the country. Apparently, Sargsyan's recent visit to Brussels, where he said Armenia is ready to sign the political part of the association agreement, seriously worried the people who decide the fate of the poor little Armenia.
The matter here rests in the fact that the common customs legislation in the Customs Union will play into the hands of the oligarchic top of the Armenian political elite, which in fact govern the country.
Following Armenia's joining the Customs Union the major importers - the well-known Armenian oligarchs- will be able to conduct the majority of their deals inside the shadow economy.
After joining the Customs Union the customs duties, levied on Armenia's border, will go to the union's budget, and then, according to a predetermined quota, return to Armenia's state budget. That's to say, the oligarchs paying customs duties when importing goods will get their money back from Armenia's budget and this will only aggravate corruption and limit the opportunities of small business. In this state of affairs, Sargsyan could not stay in power, even if he really wanted this.
Nevertheless, his resignation is unlikely to change anything, and certainly it will not improve the economic situation in the country. Armenia is not expected to recover from its economic coma when the only means that could have helped -European integration -was rejected in favor of the interests of a handful of people.
Armenia has no border with Russia. It has more to lose and nothing to gain from joining the Customs Union. In fact, Armenia's accession to the Customs Union will not solve any financial problems, since there will not be investments made in an Armenia that has actually openly declared itself a Russian outpost. The West will not take the risk and rather fears to face the Russian pressure. So, in fact Armenia doesn't have any economic reason for joining this structure as distinct from the integration to European institutions.
Well, the hopes of the Armenian opposition, led by ex-President Levon Ter-Petrosyan, who considers the resignation of the prime minister as the first step in the process of regime change in the country, are no more than a hope, they are unrealizable.
Armenians are not Ukrainians and do not often actively protest against the exchange of their lives and well-being for the authorities' vassal flirting with the "elder brother".
"Every nation deserves its ruler" and this phrase will determine the further extinction of Armenia headed by its weak authorities.
Translated by E.A., L.Z.
Edited by C.N.