Baku, Azerbaijan, July 25
By Elmira Tariverdiyeva – Trend:
In connection with the latest developments in Russian-Armenian relations, there have been more and more calls in Armenia to withdraw from the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and break off relations with Russia. Representatives of the Armenian community, unlike the authorities, often stated that the decision of the country’s President Serzh Sargsyan to trade the agreement with Europe for the Russian initiative – the EAEU – is meaningless.
In 2013, Yerevan was ready to sign an Association Agreement with the EU but at the last moment, after the visit of Sargsyan to Moscow, it suddenly refused the agreement with the EU and announced accession to the EAEU.
At that time, this caused a wave of indignation among the people of Armenia, which has been growing year in, year out because accession to the EAEU was not particularly beneficial for the Armenian people. The point is that Armenia, having no borders with Russia, inherently did not gain much from joining the EAEU and there was no economic feasibility in this. According to the National Statistical Service of Armenia, the country’s imports and exports have significantly decreased in recent years.
The last straw for the Armenian people was when Chairman of Russia’s State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin offered to Armenia to make Russian an official language in the country, explaining that in this case, driving licenses issued in Armenia would be valid in Russia.
However, later representatives of the Armenian civil society found numerous inconsistencies in the new law that has recently come into force in Russia. The law prohibits drivers with foreign driving licenses to work in the country, but there is an exception for citizens of the EAEU member states, where Russian is the official language. This is what outraged Armenian citizens, many of whom survive thanks to salaries of their relatives – drivers working in Russia.
Numerous publications in the press made it clear that the Armenians think Russia blackmails them and tries to impose the Russian language on them, thus encroaching upon Armenia’s sovereignty and independence.
Many analysts suggested that the issue related to driving licenses became a tool of pressure on Yerevan, which plans to sign a framework agreement on cooperation with the EU in November.
By the way, it is still unknown whether the document will be signed or not. In case Moscow is not satisfied with the details of the EU-Armenia agreement, the signing of the document will be disrupted, as it has already happened with the Association Agreement.
Yerevan’s logic in this case is quite simple – an old friend is better than two new ones. This means that for Yerevan it is necessary to agree to all the initiatives of Moscow to maintain friendship with Russia – the state that is the only guarantor of Armenia’s security and financial stability. Today, the poor and conflictual Armenia cannot be independent. And here it has to give in, even in the matter of the national interests and independence.