Armenian newspapers comment on the first anniversary of the announcement of President Serzh Sarkisian’s decision to seek Armenia’s membership in the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.
“Zhoghovurd” says that the September 3, 2013 development “drastically changed the political vector” of Armenia. “After a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Serzh Sarkisian made a statement about Armenia’s membership in the Customs Union,” writes the paper. “One year after that geopolitical U-turn, one is left to conclude that as a result of abandoning political association with the European Union Armenia has not gone anywhere else. The process of its accession to the Customs Union and the Eurasian Economic Union continues to drag on.” Sarkisian, it claims, has only earned Armenia the international reputation of an “unreliable partner.”
“The authorities insist that the Eurasian Union is a merely economic structure without a political component,” writes “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.” “Of course nobody believes in that. But let us assume that [the government claim] is true. In that case, Armenia should have frantically stayed away from that union because in the purely economic sense joining it is damaging for Armenia.” The paper says that Armenia will now have to cede part of its economic and perhaps political sovereignty to Russia. A large part of the Armenian economy is already controlled by the Russians, it says.