Devastation of Armenia is not in Russia's interests, expert says
Today, Yerevan will host another meeting of the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council, which will bring together the heads of the EEU member states governments. Right now the EEU includes Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan.
Senior researcher of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences, president of the Scientific Society of Caucasiologists, Alexander Krylov, believes that the idea of the EEU transformed after Armenia's accession to it: "A lot of time has passed since the collapse of the Soviet Union, but the transformation of the post-Soviet continues, and we note the existence of opposing trends - disintegration trend, for example in Ukraine, and integration trend - the Eurasian idea. It finally transformed in 2014, when the decision on Armenia's accession to the EEU was made. Before that, the idea developed on the basis of the fact that three countries that have more or less equal economic indicators and standards of living create a union that will show its success at the beginning, will strenghten their borders, and then, under certain conditions, the possibility of the accession of new states to the EEU will be considered. But in 2014, this idea was abandoned."
Krylov admitted that it caused great dissatisfaction and a heated discussion with our Kazakh and Belarusian colleagues. Nevertheless, we managed to convince them that the accession of Armenia and Kyrgyzstan will be useful: "Right now, if we look at the indicators of support for the idea of Eurasian integration, it is indicative that the greatest level of support is in Kazakhstan, Russia and Kyrgyzstan. The lowest level of support is in Belarus and Armenia. And it is even less in Belarus than in Armenia. It is obvious that there are big concerns in Kazakhstan and Belarus over the costs they will incur in connection with the joining of new members. This project provides certain opportunities to address the problems of post-Soviet states, but in the end everything will depend on the capability and efforts of every member of this union. The EEU can become successful and not repeat the infamous fate of the Commonwealth of Independent States, which eventually turned into a completely incompetent formal union, only if it will be a collective cooperative, and not some kind of security council, where every member will expect that someone will do his job for him."
According to the expert, for Armenia, the result of its accession to the EEU is controversial: "On the one hand, it is the improvement of working conditions, living, payment of patents, payment for registration in Russia. On the other hand, the conditions of the demographic situation taking place in Armenia can lead to a further exodus of the population from Armenia to Russia. Russia is not interested in this, because the devastation of Armenia is absolutely not in its interests. So the common goal here is to find a way to resolve the social and economic problems in Armenia itself. Many things depend on the Armenian authorities, the population, business, Armenia itself. There are tasks that no one except yourself can handle. So we hope that we will be able to use those opportunities that the EEU provides, realizing that in order to succeed, we need to make a lot of our own efforts."