"Yerevan has no chance for a breakthrough except for the Eurasian Union"

Ashot Manucharyan
Ashot Manucharyan
Author: Interview by David Stepanyan, Yerevan, exclusively to VK

Former Interior Minister and adviser to the first President of Armenia for national security, Ashot Manucharyan, spoke about the prospects of the Eurasian Union and Armenia's membership in the organization in an interview to VK.

- On August 8 in Moscow, the presidents of Russia and Armenia discussed the participation of Yerevan in the Eurasian Union. What, in your opinion, are the prospects of Armenia's participation in this project?

- Today, new geopolitical processes associated with our region are sharply enhanced. In this context, Armenia is extremely important for Moscow, especially considering that recently Yerevan has been making a very effective drift towards the West. However, in many respects this drift is being done through stimulation by the West itself. Against this background, it must be noted that the West in this respect is much more successful than Russia. This logic shows that Moscow is facing a moment of truth. Against this background, the issue of Armenia's accession to the Customs Union and later to the Eurasian Union is a litmus test that says "yes" or "no" to the Russian presence in Armenia. Therefore, the project of creating the Eurasian Union is crucial for Russia, and Moscow will use all its opportunities in the FSU for its implementation and the creation of a tightly integrated community.

Today's confrontation on the global level shows that the project of creating the Eurasian Union is an important component of Russian policy in the framework of the philosophy of the existing world. On the other hand, Armenia has always been an important geopolitical point for Russia, as well as for other global players in terms of fixing their positions in the Caucasus, which, until recently, was called the Eurasian communication corridor. It is important that it is the Caucasus which is a neutral corridor in Eurasia outside the global players - Russia to the north and Iran to the south. Possession of this neutral corridor is still dominant for global players with interests in Eurasia, allowing them to promote the economic development of many countries.

- What role in these processes do you attach to the United States?

- For Washington, strengthening its position is an issue of great importance, including full and unrestricted philosophical and administrative control over Armenia. The world today is in a state of intense perturbations, the old management system is collapsing, and examples abound, but many countries, and especially the United States, tend to save them, although it is not easy to do in a general world crisis, which includes not only the economy, but also values . During this crisis, it is difficult to manipulate the old methods, to try to respond to the realities of today's challenges. It is often necessary to cheer presidents, prime ministers and so on, drawing them into the implementation of the goals and objectives, which are to strengthen the position of the U.S.

- You say that the West operates in Armenia much more successfully than Russia does. In what ways does it operate there, given that Russia remains the number one investor in Armenia, and a number of Armenian enterprises, including those of strategic importance, are in the hands of the Russians?

- The West is more successful because of its high technology, philosophy, concept of life. You are right: in Armenia, it is shown in Moscow’s possession of strategically important objects. However, everything that relates to the material side of life demonstrates that the West is, by definition, more successful than Russia, which has a lot of material assets. In addition, in the hands of the West there is one important thing - the printing press. Against this background, everything else is just pointless to discuss, as a result , the influence of Russia in Armenia is rapidly approaching zero, and the entire political arena is controlled by Anglo-American forces. This, of course, is a polemical exaggeration. The fact is, however, that Moscow's position in respect to these challenges seems to be indifferent and creates confusion in Armenian society. So if Russia really wants to compete with the West, it needs to go beyond the playing field, where it is defeated and will be defeated in another political dimension. The political and state elite of Armenia has been adapting to the Western system of values for the past 20 years.

As a result, Armenia is under the influence of an alien system of values which it is necessary to get rid of. The philosophy, which today our government is guided by, is also borrowed and adopted by all members of the ruling elite in Armenia. Meanwhile, we had a pretty effective own form of self-organization, which was carried out in the period 1988-1990. At the core of the current mechanism of the Armenian economy there is even greater enrichment of oligarchs, who like a vacuum cleaner pick up all the money from the public, and then invest the money in foreign countries. Naturally, in the presence of such a mechanism, the economy cannot develop.

- You have mentioned the presence of politicians drawn into the implementation of the goals of strengthening the position of the U.S. in Armenia and other CIS countries. Are Russia's attempts to create the Eurasian Union with the participation of the countries of the former Soviet Union based on processes that you specify?

- The political elite of the post-Soviet state is closely related to Western civilization. it became an agent of the West, of course, not in the sense that they were recruited by it, but in terms of their support for Western ideas. Man lives in order to steal more and more and to have more fun. Consumer society, based on financial power, is the mechanism of the West. Accordingly, all the people heading post-Soviet countries are Westerners by nature and definition. Russia is one of the most amazing structures in the world today. On the one hand, the Russian elite not related to the essence of Russia itself are, of course, Western. By their nature, the Russian people remain a carrier of a completely different culture, the largest reservoir capable of specifying the path of humanity to get out of the pit which we are in now as a result of life according to the recipes of Western civilization. Western civilization has already played its role, in which, besides failures, significant achievements were also recorded. But it is already completely exhausted and will inevitably be replaced by another one. The fundamental question is whether the Eurasian Union is an action inspired by the logic of today's world, where everyone is trying to organize a group that would grab for itself more than others, or it is an alternative way of human development. In the past we successfully ditched one possible alternative. The collapse of the Soviet Union was not a geopolitical disaster, it was a much larger disaster, because the Soviet Union could have become a real possible alternative, but it never became so. In the Soviet Union we tried to create this alternative socialism, but this attempt failed. The Soviet Union collapsed not because of a conspiracy of the Freemasons or the CIA or other such nonsense. Nobody dies because of germs. The first thing that kills the body is the degradation of its immune system, in the case of the Soviet Union - of the idea of ​​unity.

All the statements that socialism is a limb of the devil are no more than talk to feed the poor. Yet we still have some part of it. We, the people of post-Soviet space, will continue to be a bearer of important principles, ideas, ways of life. External forces are trying to make standard, Western people out of us, but so far we are still different. So if we manage to create anything new within the idea of ​​the creation of the Eurasian space, then we will find ourselves in front of the whole planet. And we do not need to do this exclusively by ourselves. There are good developments in the U.S., Latin America and China. In this case, none of the things that we do within the Western philosophy will lead us to such a breakthrough. Directing people to the continuous growth of consumption and cash, they force them in any way to get more income and to consume and enjoy more and more. That's the guileless essence of today's life.

- Can the security of Armenia through membership in the CSTO and military-technical cooperation with Russia be considered a prerequisite for the participation of the Republic in the Eurasian project of Russia?

- We get our security system in cooperation with Russia. This is the first option for now. Again, in terms of development, Armenia has a problem, but the development plan offered by the West is also unacceptable. What does the West offer us? Eat more, and be able to eat more. We will not be able to have more science, more powerful industry, a better education. The USSR was in this respect a high standard which no post-Soviet country could reach. Today, there is the same catastrophic situation in the former Warsaw Pact countries. The choice of the system of security has already been made by Armenia – it is, of course, Russia, and I do not see anything similar to this option. Of course, there are a lot of problems, but there is no alternative, at least today. As for the economic and global component, the Eurasian Union for all of us is a chance to break the existing system. But in order to do this we need to transform this project into civilization. I do not see another chance for a breakthrough for Armenia today, including integration into Europe. Thank God that it is so.

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