Amazing, no?! Well, this is what I mean when I say Armenians and politics simply don't mix.
Getting back to the "Russia is depopulating Armenia" fantasy. A little background to the story. It is well known that Russia today has serious demographic problems. Its population has been shrinking in recent years. Russia today also has an immense surplus of cash as well as great business opportunities across its vast, rich, underdeveloped and underpopulated territory. Russia's eastern regions are essentially like America's west a hundred years ago but without the lawlessness and them pesky American natives. Simply put, many regions across the Russian Federation are ripe for economic development and growth. Many people, especially Armenians, are finding that Russia is in fact an undermanned goldmine and a haven for making money. Realizing all this, Russian officials want to encourage the settlement of these regions by Russian speaking populations from former Soviet republics. As a result, Russian officials have setup a government funded employment agency called The Russian Federal Migration Service to attract such workers. Such an employment office exists in Armenia as well as other former Soviet republics.
The point here is that there is no government "conspiracy to depopulate Armenia" as some Armenians like to present the matter. Such fantasies exist only in minds of Armenian Russophobes. It is interesting to note here that officials at the employment center in question did not publicly advertise its operations in Armenia for the very fear of having too many applicants, that is until Western propaganda operations in Armenia such as Radio Liberty, Lragir, Hetq and ArmeniaNow and nationalist imbeciles at the Sardarapat movement and Paruyr Hayrikian's AIM party decided to advertise it for them.
Nevertheless, Armenia's so-called "opposition" in Armenia is grossly exaggerating the matter. In fact, as it was recently revealed, only about fifteen hundred Armenians have left Armenia for Russia under the dreaded program in question during the past four years! Do our Russophobic idiots keep track of the number of Armenians that have gotten green-cards to come to America?! Washington provides Armenians in Armenia with the highest number of permanent residency cards (aka. green-cards) in the region. 1200 individuals are said to have "won" the opportunity to move to the United States just in 2011. Washington has been encouraging Armenia's best and brightest to move to the US throughout the past twenty somewhat years, yet not a single one of those who are currently fear-mongering about the Russian employment center have raised any objections about Washington's actions.
Instead of quietly taking up this matter with high level officials in Yerevan and Moscow, as truly concerned Armenians would have done, these people (who obviously have things on their minds other than simply what's best for their homeland) are using this situation towards self-serving political purposes and in doing so they are encouraging Washington's anti-Russian agenda in the republic. The purpose of Washington's "great game" in the region has been to oust Russia from Armenia and from the Caucasus. And all this fear-mongering and the dissemination of anti-Russian propaganda throughout Armenia and the diaspora actually serves to undermine Armenia's statehood in the Caucasus and it also encourages Armenia's already hopeless citizens to leave for the west.
I personally think centers such as this Russian employment office in Armenia needs to be closely regulated by government officials. The program in question, however, is much less dangerous to Armenia than the granting of thousands of American visas or green-cards to Armenians. In fact, Yerevan needs to closely monitor the operations of one of the largest US embassies in the world. In final analysis, as the positive impact Armenians of Russia have had on Armenia clearly reveals, having a strong Russian-Armenian community is much-much more desirable than having a large American-Armenian community. As I have point out in many previous occasions, the American-Armenian community today is actually a liability for the Armenian state.
We seriously need to consider yet another important factor in all this. In this time of great political tensions and economic hardships in the world, despite the best efforts of its officials, Armenia will continue to have large numbers of unemployed and underemployed citizens. We have seen throughout history that unemployed people become cannon-fodder for foreign interests. Instead of allowing Armenia's disgruntled masses to be used by Washington's operatives against the Armenian state, similar to what they have been doing throughout the Middle East, Eastern Europe, South America, Central Asia and North Africa, it is better, from an Armenian official perspective, to allow the departure of a predetermined number of potentially troublesome people. And it is better, in my opinion, to allow these people to go to Russia, where they will at least be close to their homeland and also be in a position to perhaps one day play an integral role in the Russian Federation.
Since I don't see the global economic situation improving anytime soon, since I do not see an influx of massive economic aid being poured into Armenia anytime soon, since I do not see the Caucasus transforming itself into a land of milk and honey anytime soon, since I don't see Armenia's primitive/Asiatic sociopolitical culture evolving into something that will help facilitate Armenia's development anytime soon... I realize that Armenia will remain economically stressed for the foreseeable future. As a result, I firmly believe it is better to lessen the stress somewhat by shedding some of the population that the state, simply put, will not be able to feed under current circumstances. I say this with a heavy heart because I realize that Armenia's population is already alarmingly small. But reality is a bitch. Armenia's sociopolitical problems need to be dealt with in a rational manner.
We must realize that proper nation building is a slow and arduous process and it requires many generations as well as peace and stability to acquire. Even if Armenia's dreaded monopolists and so-called oligarchs today turned into innocent angels overnight - Armenia would still continue having severe economic problems simply due to its geographic location, its blockade and the nature of its neighbors. So, let's not fool ourselves into thinking that if we do this or that, Armenia will all of a sudden blossom. It simply doesn't work that way on earth. And this is where our mentally challenged brethren in the United States get it wrong every time. The thing to remember here is that Armenia is not the diaspora's test-tube nor is it the fairytale land the diaspora has been conditioned to think of it as. Armenia is a real nation with real problem. Unfortunately, some Armenian minds these days don't seem to be earthbound.
It also needs to be mentioned that despite many obstacles and against all odds, both foreign and domestic, Armenia is slowly yet genuinely progressing/developing. Nevertheless, Armenia is progressing today not because of the "democratic" West but actually in-spite of it.
Let's please stop worrying so much about Russia or Russians. I don't know if any one of you has noticed but Bolsheviks aren't around anymore and Yeltsin's spirit has long been exorcised from the Kremlin. Let's please clear our heads and start instead worrying about Armenia's infestation with the English language (the catalyst upon which Western propaganda and its modern form of Bolshevism, Globalism, travels upon) and Western funded subversive individuals and organizations. Let's also worrying about the high numbers of American visas and permanent residency cards being provided to citizens of Armenia.
With the help of Armenia's self-destructive peasantry and an army of willing activists in the diaspora, the Western alliance has been attempting to disrupt the forward progress of Armenia. Alarmingly, the decades long psychological warfare campaign against all things Russian has been so powerful and so thorough that a significant portion of Armenians today look at Russia, an entity that allows their homeland to survive the ravages of the Caucasus and what they see is an enemy, and they look at the political West, an entity that essentially wants the destruction of Armenia and what they see is a friend.
I know the political agenda of the political West well enough to seriously fear for a vulnerable nation like Armenia. The overall situation at hand is very troubling for me and this is essentially the psychological and emotional reasoning behind why I spend my personal time maintaining this blog. Armenia is constantly being bombarded by anti-Russian propaganda and fear-mongering. This is being commissioned by Western political interests and it is shamelessly being carried out by fools and traitors in Armenia and in the diaspora. Their short-term intent is to drive a wedge between Russia and Armenia and their ultimate/long-term intention is to drive Russians out of the strategic Caucasus.
With Russia out of Armenia, Yerevan will simply become a pathetic servant of the Anglo-American-Zionist alliance and their regional Turkish and Islamic friends. With Russia out of the Caucasus, the region essentially becomes a playground for Turks, Islamists and multi-national corporations seeking energy exploitation. Wake up Armenians! Russia is not the enemy. Russia is in fact a historic opportunity for the fledgling and embattled Armenian homeland in the Caucasus. Armenians need to learn how to properly tap into this opportunity. Russia is not seeking to depopulate Armenia. Moscow in fact wants an Armenia that is well-populated and friendly.
Recently, while riding in a city bus, the following conversation of two boys caught my ear.
Ara, don't you get it? They're giving out Russian citizenship for nothing. What are you waiting for? I've already got my documents together. Let's get the heck out of this forsaken country together.
The conversation caught the attention of the others in the bus as well, about 15 passengers. At once, they all started to drill the one boy with the question – will you tell us where to go?
You'd think they were talking about how to get to paradise or something, but it was just Russia's Migration Agency here in Armenia. I decided to check out the office as well. Customer service was top-notch; office staff were courteous and attentive. Staffers at the office, located at 72 Manoushyan Street, take the time to listen to all applicants, reassuring them that by going to Russia a bright future awaits them. To find out more, I sat in at one of the migration agencies seminars. I soon realized that the office needed no additional advertising. The person conducting the seminar confessed the same.
"We run no ads. People find out about us through word of mouth; via friends and family," he said, noting the example of the bus encounter. Nevertheless, I still asked why they didn't advertise "There'd be no one left in Armenia if we advertised," he answered, adding that most come voluntarily. "We do not force anyone to go. Those who do link their bright future only with a powerful country like Russia," said the seminar guy.
Participating in the program are 30 border districts in Russia and a number of selected cities in each. Those making the move are allowed to take their family and possessions with them, even the car, to the Russian city where they will work. Their travel costs are paid and housing awaits them on the other end. Those relocating can also obtain permanent citizenship, employment, legal and health services and a nice sum of money. What else does one need to maintain a family? I asked myself if the government of Armenia would ever be able to launch a similar campaign to attract Armenians overseas back home.
While at the office, I found out that some 50-60 Armenian citizens apply daily. They all have one aim in mind – to leave Armenia. If, as it says on the agency flyers, such a program is of vital strategic importance for Russia, populating its border regions with professionally prepared Armenians, then the natural question arises, what exactly is the benefit for Armenia? Why does official Yerevan allow such a government sponsored program to operate here?
Those leaving Armenia mince no words when they explain why – it's for their children's future. The only concern is making ends meet. Living ion an alien land, with all the unforeseen dangers this entails, is of no consequence to them. A new twist to the program has been unearthed. If those leaving for Russia are granted even temporary residence, they are pressured to renounce their Armenian citizenship. Thus, it's safe to say that those leaving will never return.
Russia is investing huge sums to attract and keep the new "arrivals". Naturally, these Armenians won't be allowed to leave Russia; at least until they pay-back the funds invested in them by Moscow. The bigger the family, the bigger the relocation sum received by each. Sadly, the prospects that any will return to the motherland grow slimmer in proportion.
According to Armenian media stories, 30 border districts in Russia and a number of selected cities in each are involved in this program. Those who decide to move to Russia are allowed to take their family and possessions with them. Their travel costs are paid and housing is said to await them on the other end. Those relocating can also obtain permanent citizenship, employment, legal and health services and a nice sum of money.
According to Gagik Yeganian, some 13,600 Armenians applied to an office of Russian Migration Agency in Armenia to get information about this program in 2007-2010 and another 12,400 people in the following seven months, but only 626 Armenian families decided to relocate to Russia. Russia's population peaked in the early 1990s (at the time of the end of the Soviet Union) with about 148 million people in the country. Today, Russia's population is approximately 143 million.
At a news conference in Yerevan on Monday, Yeganyan said that in 2008 the negative balance of migration made 23,059 citizens, in 2009 – 24,978, and in 2010 – 29,860. These figures contradict a number of newspaper and online media reports claiming that up to 70,000 people emigrate from Armenia every year, based on the perception of the negative balance of incoming and outgoing citizens. “In these conditions, it is impossible to speak of mass emigration,” the State Migration Service head stressed, according to the Mediamax news agency.
Yeganyan also noted the negative role of the media in “advertising” the “Relocation of Compatriots” program being implemented by the Russian government. According to him, in legal terms, the authorities of Armenia cannot oppose the implementation of the given program. “In four years, 26,000 citizens of Armenia turned to the Embassy of Russia in Armenia within the framework of this program, and only 2,919 of them expressed a wish to participate in the project and filled in the documents, and the status of a migrant was granted to 822 citizens. As a result, 622 families, or 1,508 people, moved to Russia,” Yeganyan said, as quoted by the news agency.
He urged the media to get familiar with the conditions of the program and present the public with balanced and reliable information in order “not to cause interest of the citizens to the program and avoid forming queues at the Embassy.”
The Russian Federal Migration Service (FSM) began operating the program in Armenia in 2009 and has reportedly attracted hundreds of Armenian families since then. Its activities are sparking a growing uproar from local opposition politicians, public figures, and media worried about the continuing outflow of people from Armenia. Some of them have demanded that the authorities in Yerevan ban the FSM scheme in Armenia.
Sarkisian said Armenian authorities shared those concerns. He said President Serzh Sarkisian (no relation) instructed him to raise the matter at a recent meeting of a Russian-Armenian intergovernmental commission on bilateral cooperation that was held in the southern Russian city of Rostov-na-Donu. "We brought our Russian partners' attention to the fact that that program must not be implemented in the Republic of Armenia with those standards," Tigran Sarkisian said. "This issue will be the subject of intergovernmental discussions."
"We have to solve this issue at the political level," he told a group of prominent Armenian writers, academics, and other intellectuals at a meeting held in Oshakan, a historic village in the central Aragatsotn province.
Some of those intellectuals signed an open letter to the government earlier this month urging it to do more to keep Armenians from leaving their country mainly for economic reasons. They echoed opposition claims that the scale of the emigration had increased of late. President Sarkisian disputed those claims this week at a special meeting with top state officials -- including the prime minister -- that discussed the issue. He said most of the tens of thousands of people leaving the country each year, mainly for Russia, were seasonal workers who eventually return home.
Serzh Sarkisian admitted at the same that a lack of economic opportunities and the resulting emigration remained a serious problem in Armenia. He instructed government bodies to propose more measures to tackle it. Armenia had about 4 million residents when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. At least one-quarter of its population has since emigrated in search of employment abroad.
Russia’s Federal Migration Service (FMS) began operating the program in Armenia in 2009 and has reportedly attracted hundreds of Armenian families since then. The program has sparking an uproar from local opposition politicians, public figures and media worried about the continuing outflow of people from the country. Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian said in July that his government shares their concerns. He revealed that it has told Moscow to halt the scheme’s implementation in Armenia.
The opposition youth movement Hima (Now) dismissed these assurances, saying that the government should simply order the FMS to close its offices in Yerevan and several Armenian regions. “There are people who want to accumulate political capital,” said Kovalenko. “They are wrong to do that. Everything will be fine.” Kovalenko claimed that most of the Armenian migrants work in Russian to support their relatives in Armenia and will eventually return home.
Armenia First in Region in Winning US Green Cards
A total of 1,200 entrants from Armenia have won US Green Card Lottery 2011. And in the 2012 Lottery, the number of winners from Armenia is close to one thousand, US Consul to Armenia Robert Farquhar stated, during a press conference on Thursday, adding that with this indicator Armenia is the clear leader in the region. Farquhar also informed that in 2011 the number of Green Card Lottery winners was around 700 in Georgia, and 350 in Azerbaijan. Also, 2,400 people became Green Card winners in Russia. Green Card Lottery 2013 started on October 4 and it continues until November 5. Every year around 55 thousand Green Cards are played in this lottery, RFE/RL reported.Source: http://news.am/eng/news/77821.html