Armenian newspapers continue to focus on the EU Eastern Partnership summit taking place in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius on November 28-29 and an upcoming visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to Armenia.
“Hraparak” has interviewed Artak Zakarian, head of the Armenian National Assembly’s standing foreign relations committee, who has been on the Armenian delegation at the Vilnius summit. Zakarian, in particular, says: “However unexpected it was, Armenia got a fairly tolerant attitude. Many noted in their speeches that Armenia’s position was very clear and stressed that the European Union had its share of responsibility for such a position of Armenia. In other words, the EU has failed to take into consideration many things in the Eastern Partnership matter such as, for example, the role of Russia, conflicts, security components, etc..”
“Zhamanak” describes Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plans to start his visit to Armenia in Gyumri, the country’s second largest city hosting a Russian military base, as an ‘unprecedented phenomenon’. It says: “It is difficult to remember a single high-level visit by a foreign leader to another country that would start with visiting his country’s military base and only then proceeding to the capital of the host nation and meeting with the political leadership. The president of Russia, in fact, publicly humiliates Armenia and shows that at this point Armenia does not exist for Russia as a separate entity of international policy, but there is only a territory where Russia keeps its military base.”
“Hayastani Hanrapetutyun” quotes Yerevan-based Caucasus Institute director Alexander Iskandarian as giving a different perspective on Putin’s visit to Armenia. The political expert believes that both Armenia and Europe will not discontinue their cooperation after the Vilnius summit and Russia will continue to serve as a security umbrella for Armenia as part of the Collective Security Treaty Organization. “The visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Armenia is the reaffirmation of the strategic alliance between the two countries in the security sphere. Russia needs Armenia as much as Armenia needs Russia,” Iskandarian concludes.