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“Zhamanak” suggests that if only a memorandum without any specific issues and responsibilities is signed between the European Union and Armenia at the upcoming Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius, then this document can be easily called ‘a document about nothing’. “In this case it is better not to sign anything in order not to give the Armenian authorities an occasion to mislead the public. This is the most important matter in Vilnius,” the paper says.

“Haykakan Zhamanak” predicts, based on the “information available so far”, that Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian will sign in Vilnius a declaration about continued cooperation with the EU, commitment to European values and other similar things: “He cannot sign anything else as only two days after this summit he is going to host Russian President Vladimir Putin through whose active efforts and pressure Armenia had to give up further process on the Association Agreement and the agreement on the establishment of a deep and comprehensive free trade area with the EU after having negotiated these documents for nearly four years.”

In an interview with “Hayots Ashkhar” Hovannes Sahakian, a senior member of the Republican Party of Armenia, insists that by joining the Russian-led Customs Union Armenia will have economic benefits by far exceeding those that the country would have if it decided to move towards forming a free trade area with the EU. “I can say one thing: if our critics were in the position to make decisions, they would have done the same as we do, while the counterarguments that are being cited only strengthen our belief that we did the right thing by joining the Customs Union at the same time continuing our cooperation with Europe as far as it does not contradict the integration processes connected with the Customs Union,” says Sahakian.

“Zhoghovurd” believes that if Armenia had a full-fledged political system and strong opposition the September 3 decision by the government to give up European integration and move towards the Russia-led trade bloc would have evoked a reaction similar to the one that one can see in Ukraine today. “But what we saw after September 3 had nothing to do with Armenian political forces. It was mainly civil circles that challenged the decision, while the political forces posing as opposition in Armenia preferred not to make any sharp statements against Russia,” the paper concludes.

(Tigran Avetisian)
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