However, according to Ara Papyan Russia will still bring pressure on Armenia to recognize the autonomy of Crimea. Gagik Harutyunyan does not agree: “South Ossetia and Abkhazia have been recognized by Russia but not Armenia; so there is no such precedent of Armenia adopting decisions while being under pressure”.
Touching upon the perspective of economic and political isolation of Russia as a result of Ukrainian confrontation Ara Papyan mentions that as Russia’s ally Armenia will get into isolation with all that it implies.
In the given situation the chairman of “Modus Vivendi” centre does not predict a better tomorrow for Russia: “Russia made the same strategic mistake as once the USSR did – it tried to oppose the West. The forces are clearly unequal. And the outcome of this struggle is obvious for everyone”.
According to Gagik Harutyunyan, in today’s globalized economy it would be a tough task to isolate such a giant as Russia: “The penalties applied towards Russia will also damage those applying penalties”, he says adding that there are no serious dangers for Armenia joining the Customs Union; it is advantageous for Armenia to join the Customs Union, since it is difficult to detach the economic element from those of military and political. This first of all strengthens our safety which is not yet guaranteed by any other country and which is not also guaranteed separately by Russia, but it has been our age-old ally. By joining the Customs Union Armenia made Nagorno Karabakh military occupation by the Turks and the Azerbaijani almost impossible.
Ara Papyan opposed to this argument mentioning that Azerbaijan has long ago given up the idea of settling the issue on military basis and has adopted another policy of applying economic pressure on Armenia and the Armenians abandoning their motherland: “After joining the Customs Union the prices of many products will increase, which means it will promote emigration. In 20 years’ time we can simply end up in a situation where we’ve kept our territory but there are no people living in it”.
According to Ara Papyan the upcoming visits of the Iranian president Hassan Rouhani and the US secretary of state John Kerry to Armenia will be crucial for our country. According to him as a result of these visits Iran and the West will make sure whether or not cooperate with Armenia.
“Today Armenia has a significant geographic role being a transit route for transferring gas and oil from Iran to Europe. If it is finally decided that it is impossible to make it through the territory of Armenia, our country will have no importance either for Iran or for the West”, Papyan highlights.
Coming back to the referendum on Crimean issues to take place on March 16 the speakers are assured that the referendum will take place and the Russian-Ukrainian antagonism will enter an even more permanent phase, where the military threats will be replaced by economic repressions.
A discussion on “The developments in Ukraine: Consequences and Impact” took place in “Media Centre” on March 11. The speakers were Gagik Harutyunyan, Director of “Noravank” scientific-educational foundation and Ara Papyan, Chairman of “Modus Vivendi” centre.