"Insults to Armenia to backfire on Russia," Yerevan threatens
In recent days it looked like the wave of information war unleashed by the Armenian media against Russian experts and TV channels after the stories about the consequences of the partnership agreement signed between Armenia and the European Union came to an end in Yerevan. However, it seems that the second wave has begun to cover Armenia's mass media and experts.
For example, a political analyst Gagik Hambaryan said, speaking with the Armenian newspaper Aravot.am: "Obviously, before and after signing an agreement with the European Union, the Russian government was pretty nervous, up to the point when state-controlled TV channels crossed all borders comparing Armenia to an unfaithful wife looking for a lover, Nzhdeh was called a fascist ... It was possible to foresee such a reaction, it did not surprise me. For me it is strange that the Armenian authorities, in the person of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, do not react to these manifestations. There was no doubt that a big noise would have been raised if there were similar insults directed at the opposite side, but, as always, the Armenian authorities are trying to make it look like personal opinions of certain individuals. I see another danger here: the Azeri side can use the hysteria raised by Russian channels. Unfortunately, for many years the Azerbaijani side has worked to strengthen its positions in the Russian media. Although they do not have well-known Azerbaijani commentators, political scientists, like Armenian ones, who actively participate in talk shows, but the Azerbaijani side is working in the other direction - they bribe Russian political scientists and commentators who have recently intensified their work. These are Alexander Prokhanov, Alexei Markov, Maxim Shevchenko, State Duma deputy Saveliev and others. It surprises me that, as our authorities say, these insults are not official. I wonder if there is anyone in Armenia who, working in the presidential structure, like Maxim Shevchenko or Alexander Prokhanov, who is one of the founders of the so-called Izborsk club, can afford insults against Russia. I hope that the Armenian side will respond to Russia, without abusive words, of course."
According to the interlocutor of the newspaper, "the Armenian authorities must inform Moscow that such insults will backfire on Russia". Gagik Hambaryan is sure that "Armenia is one of those exceptional countries in the world that is doing everything to satisfy Russia's demands, almost without demanding anything in return."
"Such behavior, such TV programs and hysterical statements do not come from the logic of the Armenian-Russian relations, all this will contribute to anti-Russian sentiments in the Armenian society. And our society no longer believes Russia's attempts to assure them that they support Armenia. There are various reasons - both economic, political and military ones. Russia in recent years has become the largest supplier of weapons to Azerbaijan, this amount is 5-6 billion dollars, while we are sold the same weapons through provision of credits. Is this a strategic partnership between the two countries? Russia keeps saying that it sells gas to us at the lowest prices, the Armenian public has never seen this cheap gas, as Russia sells this cheap gas to its own company - Gazprom Armenia, which prices are three times more expensive. They do not miss an opportunity to remind us of the number of Armenian emigrants working in Russia. Indeed, they work, doing the work that local people will not do and getting the salary on which local people will not agree. In addition, all the money that comes from Russia to Armenia, then goes back to Russia - for gas, energy, communications and other services. Russian companies have a monopoly in these areas. So, if the Russian side keep this up, it will hit Russia itself. In the end, Russia must understand that if it has nothing to offer us, then it has no right to demand us to live in poverty and lack of perspective. The Armenian authorities, cooperating with the EU, have never said that they are abandoning their strategic partnership with Russia. Moscow should understand this eventually".
Gagik Hambaryan says that "the Russian side does not pay for the military base located on the territory of Armenia, and our country is an exception in this sense. The presence of a Russian base is beneficial to us, but it is doubly beneficial to Russia: having its military base in the South Caucasus, Russia is strengthening its positions not just in the region, but also in the Middle East. "