Putin congratulates Armenia on 26 years of independence with 20 years of dependence on Russia
Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 21
By Elmira Tariverdiyeva – Trend:
Russian President Vladimir Putin today congratulated his Armenian counterpart Serzh Sargsyan on the occasion of Armenia’s national holiday, the Independence Day.
Putin, however, did not confine himself to these congratulations. He reminded about a turning point in the modern history of Armenia when it voluntarily decided to serve Moscow.
In his congratulation message, Putin underlined that this year marks not only 25 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and Armenia, but also 20 years since the signing of a treaty on friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance.
And from this moment, I would like to describe in detail the relations between the two countries since Armenia’s gaining the so-called independence.
Armenia, taking advantage of the chaos in the crumbling Soviet Union, held a referendum and popped into the long-awaited independence, however, not managing to use and keep it.
Neither in political nor in economic terms, Armenia could become any significant in international relations, looking back at Russia at every opportunity and asking for its approval and permission in almost all issues. Of course, Russia dragged Armenia along not for altruistic reasons, but for very good preferences in the form of Armenia’s sovereignty and all processes following from it.
Over the past 20 years, Yerevan voluntarily gave Moscow almost all its strategic assets, including the energy sector, as well as obediently ditched its relations with the West for joining the Russian integration project – the Eurasian Economic Union.
Today, there are about 1,300 companies with Russian share in Armenia, including such giants as Gazprom PJSC, VimpelCom PJSC, VTB Bank, Inter RAO UES PJSC, Rosneft OJSC, RUSAL, Rosatom State Atomic Energy Corporation, Russian Railways JSC, and others.
Russia acquired these assets mostly as part of repayment of Armenia’s debts, which, however, were much lower than the cost of the assets, but when one has nothing to pay with, there is no time for scrupulous calculations.
Armenia actually agreed to turn itself into an official outpost of Russia by signing agreements on the legal status of the Russian Armed Forces in Armenia (the military base in Gyumri); on the status of the Russian border troops in Armenia (they control the country’s borders with Iran and Turkey); on cooperation in air defense, etc.
There is an opinion that Armenia, fearing that Moscow would support Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, sold itself to Russia, but not to the West, which, during Armenia’s Soviet period, supported it thanks to the Armenian lobby.
Because of the stupid occupation policy, which brought nothing to Yerevan, except for the title of an aggressor country, closed borders with neighbors, economic blockade in the region and total dependence on Russia, today in the international arena Armenia is considered as a Russian province, which is not worthy of trust.
It is clear that such relations with Russia couldn’t last long, and the talks about Yerevan’s changing foreign policy in favor of the West, including integration into the EU and deepening cooperation with the US and NATO, often take place in Armenia.
Elmira Tariverdiyeva is the head of Trend Agency’s Russian news service