President Putin's visit bolsters Armenia politically, economically and militarily - December, 2013

The world famous leader of the Russian Federation, a man that was just voted by none-other-than Forbes Magazine as the most powerful man in the world arrives in Armenia; he joins his Armenian counterpart to review the arsenal of impressive weaponry stationed at the recently modernized 102nd base in Gyumri; he pays his respects to the victims of the tragic earthquake of 1988; he pays tribute at the memorial to the martyrs of the Armenian Genocide; he attends a major Russian-Armenian economic forum; he announces that Russia will be providing Armenia natural gas and modern weaponry at domestic prices; he signs a whole range of far-reaching agreements with the Armenian government.... yet every single one of the Western world's news organizations, as well as most English language foreign media (including Armenian ones) simply chose to report on the "mass protests" carried out by several hundred psychologically challenged individuals? 

I'll get to the freak show in question a little later in this commentary.

How could it be that there is not a single positive Western news report about the state visit? How could it be that not a single Western news outlet ignored the protest by a small group of worthless idiots? Something's not right here. Could this be part of their global information war against President Vladimir Putin and the Russian Federation? Could it be that news media executives in the Western world (primarily a small bunch of Brits, Americans and Jews with top level government connections) are conspiring against President Vladimir Putin and the Russian Federation?

Washington's information war against Putin

Once more: The greatest leader of our times arrives in Armenia to bolster the embattled nation's regional status; he signs a number of far-reaching agreements with Armenian officials; and he pays his respects to the martyrs of the Armenian Genocide, yet all we hear and read about is the street protest by several hundred Western-led sheeple?

Here is the most prominent example of the type of reporting I'm talking about: It comes to us by the way of a "reputable" instrument of the Anglo-American-Zionist global order -

Putin faces protests as he woos Armenia:

While reading this Reuters article, I accidentally stumbled across the following comment by someone calling him or herself "Latte Liberal" in the comments section of the webpage -
"Great reporting Reuters! I'm an American living in Yerevan. I can look out my window and tell you there was more the 500 people protesting. Police were gassing, beating and arresting protesters all day."
I can look out my window? Gassing?! Police beating protesters all day? This, folks, is not a person reporting from Yerevan. This is one of Washington's paid cyber-warriors. In case you did not know, Washington employs large numbers of cyber activists that are tasked with disseminating Western propaganda and engage in information warfare throughout social media. Although their most recent major targets have been Syria and Iran, their most persistent target has been the Russian Federation and President Putin.

Anytime President Putin goes anywhere or does anything, they are out in force trying to cast a dark shadow over him. They work in collusion with the Western world's news media outlets. Therefore, it was quite expected that Washington's psychological warfare goons with computers would be out in force on December 2, 2013 as well.

For those interested, the following is some more insight on Washington's cyber war against the world -
US Launches Cyber Spy Operation Against The World (April, 2011):
The Western world's anti-Putin, anti-Russia campaign was commenced in earnest during the summer of 2008 when Moscow unexpectedly retaliated against Georgia's Western/Israeli/Turkish backed military aggression in Abkhazia and South Ossetia and liberated the disputed territories by military force. Since then, not a single day passes without any one of the major Western news organizations and their subsidiaries around the world putting out a news article or a report that viciously attacks President Putin and paints Russia is very stark colors. 

I'd post some examples of what I am referring to but there are simply too many to choose from. Western news media is literally saturated with tens-of-thousands of articles and reports by "respected" journalists and "political commentators" attacking, belittling and ridiculing Putin and Russia in various degrees. If you care to, do a little search of "Russia" and "Putin" in every single Western news publication or "think tank" - and their subsidiaries around the world - and you will immediately see what I am talking about.

The Anglo-American-Zionist global order is using it's global levers to create an alternative reality for the global sheeple. 

With their distorted reporting about targeted leaders or nations (i.e. those not in their pockets or under their boots), they are attempting to pollute the atmosphere with negativity, suspicion and hate. They want their readership to see President Putin as an dangerous man and a bully that needs to be stood-up against and they present Russia as a backward nation who's miserable people desperately need Western support, naturally via democracy.

Similar to how vampires fear the sunlight and the crucifix, demons in power centers such as Washington, New York, London, Paris, Brussels and Tel Aviv, fear President Vladimir Putin. Their hate for President Putin (instinctual and primordial in nature) is a living testimony of his true greatness and a living testimony of the importance of Russia on the global stage.

Therefore, even if upon his arrival President Putin miraculous sprouted wings a flew high above Yerevan for all to see, Western funded and trained journalists in Yerevan would be reporting that "Putin flew to escape an angry Armenian mob".

Western interests draw on all their levers around the world to make their global competitor and their main antagonist look bad at all costs. After all, that is exactly what Psy-Ops (Psychological Operations) and Social Engineering (mental conditioning of a targeted society) is all about.

And since they have the global sheeple speaking their language and since Western propaganda agencies like CNN, Agence France Presse, BBC, Reuters, EuroNews, Associated Press, Voice of America and Radio Liberty is where many hundreds-of-millions of people around the world (including a large number of Armenians in Armenia) get their "news" from, their agenda to manipulate and condition society is made that much easier. 

Needless to say, Western television programming, films and music are also designed and disseminated to cultivate human thought, impart cultural taste and convey sociopolitical ideas upon those exposed to it (i.e. a majority of the world's population today).

The Western world's ability to alter reality and create perception is such that large numbers of Armenians today continue looking at Western integration as something very desirable even though they are seeing with their very own eyes that the European Union is deeply troubled and may be falling apart; even though they know very well that Western powers are firmly in bed with Armenia's historic enemies; even though they see Western powers oppressing and destroying nations around the world; and even though they realize that Western "values" (which is imposed on all nations under Western rule) is something that they do not want. Despite what they clearly see happening around the world, they still desire a strong Western presence in Armenia.

This is the power of Western propaganda.

The Western world's ability to alter reality and create perception is such that large numbers of Armenians today look at the Russian Federation, a nation that actually makes Armenia's existence possible in a nasty place like the south Caucasus, and all they see is an enemy. The Western world's ability to alter reality and create perception is such that large numbers of Armenians today look at the greatest leader of modern times and all they see is a oppressor. The Western world's ability to alter reality and create perception is such that they have Armenian "patriots" taking to the street to do exactly what Turks and Azeris want them to do, drive a wedge between Armenia and Russia.

This is the power of targeted Social Engineering.

Make no mistake about it, Washington's information war against President Vladimir Putin and Russia are paying great dividends.

Let's look at it this way: Russia has kept Turks and Azeris out of Armenia for the past twenty years, as well as for the past ninety years, as well as for the past two hundred years. Russia has allowed a tiny, impoverished, landlocked, desolate, blockaded and embattled Armenia to militarily compete against - and even enjoy an advantage over - a large spending, warmongering petro-state like Azerbaijan. Russia has provided Armenia with very affordable gas and oil. Russia has provided crucial help to Armenia for the operation of its atomic power plant. Russia has allowed hundreds-of-thousands of Armenians (who would otherwise be unemployed in Armenia) to work inside Russia without any problems. Russia has allowed the transfers of billions-of-dollars worth of remittances from Russia to Armenia without any problems. Russia is by-far Armenia's largest trading partner. Russia is by-far Armenia's largest investor. Russia is Armenia's one and only ally. And Russia is a Christian, European culture and, unlike the West that imposes its animalistic "values" upon all subjugated nations, Russia is a nation that does not impose its values on Armenian society.

Therefore, Armenia is a nation that should be virtually 100% pro-Russia. 

Yet, even according to a recent Russian sponsored survey less-than 2/3 of Armenians living in Armenia view membership in the Russian-led Customs Union positively -
Potential member states demonstrate high level of public support for joining the Customs Union:
Any Armenian with a normally functioning brain should be viewing Russia very positively and at the very least be viewing the Western world with deep suspicion. As far as I'm concerned, it does not say much about our people's perceptive abilities or political maturity that a slight majority of Armenians actually support integration with the Russian Federation.

Incidentally, according to the same survey noted above, 50% of Georgians view membership in the Customs Union positively. Despite the fact that Georgia recently fought a short but brutal war against Russia and lost nearly 20% of its territories as a result; despite the fact that Russia has placed economic sanctions on Georgia; despite the fact that Georgia has had a Western-backed leader at the helm for the past eight years; despite the fact that Western, Israeli and Turkish operatives continue saturating the Georgian landscape today... Georgia should be a nation that is 100% anti-Russia, yet half of the Georgian population is actually politically mature enough and has the foresight to view the Russian-led Customs Union as a possibility. 

So, relatively speaking, who is the smarter group of people, Georgians or Armenians?

Therefore, in Armenia's case, what's much more revealing to me than the 65% or so of those who view the Customs Union and Russia positively is the 35% or so who don't. And I would dare say that a vast majority of Armenians in Europe and north America would also much rather Armenia pursue a suicidal, Western path. 

As I have said in the past, had it not been for a handful of men like Robert Kocharyan, Serj Sargsyan and Seyran Ohanyan, Armenia would have been turned into a cheep brothel servicing Western oil companies, Turks, Azeris, Jews and Islamists a very long time ago.

And had the well-meaning choban, Vazgen Sargsyan, and the not-so-well meaning Soviet bureaucrat, Karen Demirjian, not been assassinated back in October 27, 1999, Armenia would most probably have lost its border connection with Iran (compliments of the US State Department's Paul Goble Plan) and would be  'literally' surrounded by Turkic nations today -
Some Thoughts on the October 27 Killings in Armenia (October, 2010):
When it comes to Armenia's foreign policy successes, please don't be naive enough to give any credit to the "people" or to "Armenians" in general. Had it been for the "people" to decide things, had it been for the Diaspora to decide thing, had it been for the typical Armenian in Yerevan (who would even sell his mother for a few Dollars or a Greencard) to decide things, we would have most probably lost Armenia by now. 

For something as obvious as Russia's crucially important role in Armenia's survival as a nation-state in the south Caucasus, even a single Armenian holding an anti-Russia or anti-Putin sentiment does not make any sense, as far as I'm concerned. Yet, due to the ubiquitousness of the Western world's anti-Russia propaganda, coupled with Armenian emotional problems, political illiteracy and arrogance, Armenia today has an abundance of psychologically disturbed imbeciles expressing an overabundance of hatred for a man and a country that actually makes their nation's existence in this world possible. 

Trying hard to impress Uncle Sam
As expected, despite the fact that Moscow has fully embraced Armenia as an ally and has accordingly protected Armenia from all regional predators, many of Uncle Sam's shameless street whores in Yerevan were out trying to spread fear, hate and disinformation on the day of President Putin's arrival. What we saw was several hundred hysterical animals with a good President Putin sprinkling of homosexuals being herded by employees of various Western funded NGOs and Western led political groups in Armenia such as Raffi Hovanissian's Heritage Party and Paruyr Hayrikian's Self Determination Party. What we saw on the streets of Yerevan on December 2, 2013 was a typical Western sponsored freak show.

It was very disheartening to see that while these Western led animals were telling the visiting Russian president to "siktir" (a Turkish term that roughly translated means fuck-off) and giving him the middle finger in true American fashion, President Putin and his Armenian counterpart were solemnly bowing their heads at the Armenian Genocide memorial -
Վլադիմիր Պուտինը Ծիծեռնակաբերդում: 
What a sad and an embarrassing irony.

Besides, what has made these people hate him so much? Perhaps there is something that I am not aware of. If so, can someone please explain to me why all this hate?

Is this what happens when you take Western grants, Western propaganda and Western activists and mix it with Armenian political ignorance, Armenian treachery, Armenian psychological problems and Armenian arrogance?

Speaking of Armenian political ignorance, arrogance, psychological problems and treasonous behavior,  I'd like to bring your attention to a rabidly Russophobic Western led propaganda agency in Armenia called Lragir. [Please note that this propaganda outlet's server is located in Germany and most of its readers/visitors are from Azerbaijan.] The main task of Western led propagandists such as this Lra-glir is to attack Russo-Armenian relations in the vilest, most incomprehensibly irrational manners imaginable. The following are two such recent examples of their inexplicable nonsense -
US Will Thwart Russian Occupation of Artsakh:
These Western led and funded propagandists' main task in Armenia is to create a social atmosphere that is by nature anti-Russian and anti-Armenian. Their task, which they perform enthusiastically, is subversion on behalf of Western powers. Lra-glir is not alone in its task to destabilize the Armenian state and undermine Russian-Armenian relations, they have the tacit support of other subversive propaganda outlets, Western led street activists, Western led politicians, Western led think tanks and Western led NGOs. For example: Here is the latest propaganda assault by yet another subversive political group known as Pre-Parliamant -
Why Armenian authorities allow these types of dangerous foreign entities to operate inside Armenia is a mystery. 

Nevertheless, it is also well known that the "patriotic" ringleaders of the recent freak show in Yerevan are paid servants of Western powers (the same Western powers that have military installations throughout Turkey, the same Western powers that have been pumping billions of dollars into Azerbaijan, the same Western powers that are currently trying to destroy Syria and Iran). Moreover, there are something like three thousand registered NGOs in Armenia employing many thousands of people in the small nation. A majority of these are Western funded organizations, and I would dare say that a majority of them are tasked with pushing, one way or another, a Western political agenda inside Armenia. Many of the protest participants were particularly derived from these Western led NGOs.

Once more, here is a partial list of organizations and individuals that should be either shutdown, exiled, jailed or banned from entering Armenia - 
Richard Giragosian, Raffi Hovanissian, Zaruhi Postanjian, Nikol Pashinyan, Paruyr Hayrikian, Levon Petrosian, Vartan Oskanian, Andreas Gukasyan, Levon Zurabian, Manvel Sargsian, Babken Der Grigorian, Shant Arutyunian, Ruben Gevorkyants, Avetik Ishkhanyan, Jirayr Libaridian, Yeghia Nersesian, Gayane Abrahamyan, Armen Martirosyan, Salpi Ghazarian, Jirayr Sefilian, Edik Baghtasaryan, Arpine Galfayan, Emil Danielyan, Levon Parseghyan, Artur Sakunts,  Susanna Muradyan, Hranush Kharatyan, Georgy Vanyan, Igor Muratyan, Ara Manoogian, Robert Davidian, Onnik Krikorian, David Grigorian, Arpine Galfayan, Vardges Gaspari, Lara Aharonian, Nanore Barsumian, Larisa Minasyan, Mamikon Hovsepyan, Naira Hayrumyan, Sona Ayvazyan, Ara Papyan,  Yekaterina Poghosyan, Tigran Khzmalyan, Daniel Ioannisyan, Garo Ghazarian, Garegin Chugaszyan, Liana Aghajanian, Arevik SaribekyanAnush Sedrakyan, Arman Babajanyan, Tsovinar Nazaryan, Gevorg Safaryan, Karine Aghajanyan, Angel Khachatryan, Alex Yenikomshyan, Alexander Arzumanyan, Eduard Abrahamyan, Boris Navasardyan, Gayane Mkrtchyan, Maro Matossian, Marianna Grigoryan, Edgar Khachatryan, Karen Hakobian, Tony Halpin, John Hughes, Kirk Wallace, Rick Ney, Blogger Unzipped, Rotary Club of Yerevan, Transparency International Anti-corruption Center, Open Society Foundation Armenia, Pink Armenia, Policy Forum Armenia, Sardarapat, Armenian Renaissance, ACNIS, Civilitas, Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly, Peace Dialogue, Armenian Environmental Network, Rights and Support Foundation, British Council of Armenia, Women’s Support Center, Rights and Support FoundationInstitute for Democracy and Human Rights, Pre-Parliament, Heritage Party, Radio Liberty, Asparez Journalists' Club, Caucasus Center for Peacemaking Initiative, Women’s Resource Center, Arajinlratvakan, ArmeniaNow, Armenia Today, Aravot, Hetq and Lragir 

These organizations and individuals will justify their actions regardless of how dangerous to Armenia or how irrational, simply because they are making a living by serving a Western agenda and because they - at least subconsciously - hate their homeland.

One of the ringleaders of the anti-Putin protest was Levon Parseghyan of the Asbarez Journalists' Club (not to be confused with Asbarez, the ARF's US based propaganda organ). Some of you may recall that this Levon Parseghyan character was in Washington a little less than two years ago, supporting agent Richard Giragosian's call for "chaos" and "revolution" inside Armenia. Please see the following link -
Panel Discussions Calling for Chaos in Armenia (February, 2012):
We must come to the realization that these types of people are steeped in their self-righteousness and blinded by their hate, ignorance, arrogance and egos of biblical proportions. I have unfortunately had a lot of experience dealing with their kind in Armenia and in the diaspora. I have come to the sobering conclusion that you just can't reason with them. You'll have more luck reasoning with a rabid street dog than talking sense to these types of people. The only way to effectively stop them or to silence or to get them out of your way is to simply eliminate them - whichever way necessary.

And isn't it interesting that Diasporan groups, who are normally obsessed about matters pertaining to the recognition of the Armenian Genocide, for the most part ignored President Putin's official visit to the Armenian Genocide memorial and primarily covered the "protests" instead? The following are two such shameful examples -
I have yet to see a single Diasporan community representative or a recognized political pundit write a single positive or constructive article about President Putin's visit to Armenia. I have yet to see a single Diasporan community representative or a recognized political pundit write a single positive or constructive article about Russian-Armenian relations. I have yet to see a single Diasporan community representative or a recognized political pundit write a single article asking our anti-Russia crusaders - what the hell are you people doing in our name? Thus far, nothing. 

Every single one of the Armenian news reports I have come across in the Diaspora have ignored the immense and unprecedented political significance and ramifications of President Putin's visit to Armenia and have instead chosen to concentrate their coverage on the several hundred imbeciles led by Western operatives.

Is this Diasporan complicity, indifference or stupidity? It may actually be all three. 

Anyway, as we all saw, Western-funded NGOs and propaganda outlets in Armenia and in the Diaspora had an orgasmic day trying to soil President Putin's visit. They were all doing their best to impress the likes of Soros and Ilham Aliyev -
Life after Vilnius: Armenia hosting Russian leader after ditching EU accord

Why do we continue being this self-destructive? Why do we continue being this politically ignorant? Why do we continue to have suicidal tendencies? Have we learned nothing from our past mistakes? Are we this blind to the political world we live in? Is our arrogance this blinding? Is our emotional problems this debilitating? No wonder we have not had a normal nation-state in well over one thousand years. No wonder the Russian factor in the Caucasus is the only reason why we Armenians have a homeland today. No wonder Russians don't trust Armenians and have had us on a very short and stout leash as a result. Who in their right minds can blame Kremlin officials for not trusting us?

Heck, when it comes to Armenia, I don't trust Armenians.

By the way, the ugly thing with the orange hair appearing in the bottom-left corner of the above picture is bosha Mariam Gishyan, one of Hetq's many political mascots. Some of you may recall that this subhuman was asking for asylum in Turkey not too long ago. Too bad she didn't go -
Family in Armenia Asks Turkey for Assylum:
Dear readers, take a close look, these are the "Armenian patriots" that succeeded in casting a dark shadow over President Putin's state visit to Armenia for their bosses in the Western world and their spiritual brethren in Ankara, Tel Aviv and Baku. These are the "Armenian patriots" that have once again made Armenia look an insane asylum on the global stage.

Here, compare the rhetoric of Armenia's political opposition nutjobs to that of Azeri rhetoric to see their uncanny similarities -
Sargsyan jeopardizes Armenia to save his power:
Azerbaijan Protests Against Armenian Entry Into Customs Union:
And why do Armenian authorities continue tolerating this kind of behavior in our nation? Officials could have easily stopped this freak show from happening: Are they afraid of losing their Western aid (bribe) money? Are there Western operatives working deep inside the Armenian government? Are the authorities this weak, this corrupt and this indecisive? Or are they just incompetent? Or are they all of the above?

Just like we have quite a few Armenian citizens today that would even sell their daughters into prostitution for a Greencard, we have quite of few officials in Yerevan that would sell Armenia to the highest bidder on the international market; and had it not been for the Russian GRU and a handful of men like Robert Kocharyan, Serj Sargsyan and Seyran Ohanyan, they would have many years ago. As I have said, had it not been for the serious threat posed to Armenia by the Western led opposition, I would have been using this virtual podium to call for a thorough cleansing of Armenia's political structures. However, the sad reality is that regardless of their terrible flaws, the Armenian government in place today is the lesser of evils - because the Western agenda in Armenia poses an immediate existential threat to the country. But make no mistake about it, once we have managed to effectively curb this Western threat, we must turn our attention to those in power.

But, it didn't have to be this way. Had one or two of the more prominent Western operatives involved in these types of subversive activities had the misfortune of having a tragic car accident some time prior to President Putin's arrival in Armenia, they would not have been out instigating trouble. But, being that Armenians are compassionate (another negative Armenian trait in my opinion) and since they love Western financial aid these cancerous cells are allowed to exist in a small and fledgling nation surrounded by predators in a hostile environment. Not a good situation.

Only when it seemed obvious that these people were not going to be abiding with the requests of law enforcement authorities did they begin to take them away. The following video clip is what I'm talking about. Besides watching it please read some of the posted comments to familiarize yourselves with the intensity of the raw hate many Armenians have towards their police and towards their state -
Armenian riot police picking up garbage in Yerevan:
As far as I could tell, I didn't see any blood spilled. If so, that was a bit disappointing, not to mention very impolite for a place like the south Caucasus where animals are traditionally slaughtered for honorable guests. 

Let's look at what we saw in Yerevan from another angle: How would this have looked to Russians? If I were a Russian, and I saw this kind of antics by a bunch of "black asses" against my president and my country, I would demand that my government immediately expelled all Armenian migrant workers in Russia, cut off all gas and oil deliveries (or at least quadruple their cost), stop providing support to keep the Armenian atomic plant operating, stop all investments, stop all imports of Armenian goods, stop all weapons deliveries and shutdown the Russian base in Gyumri. Then I would sit back with a cold bottle of vodka and give Armenians the middle finger and tell them to go and @%$# themselves (just like in the pictures above).

But being that I am an Armenian, all I can do is lower my head and shake it in utter disbelief.

These animals that we saw on the streets of Yerevan during Putin's state visit, as well as some of our migratory animals that live-off Russia and bring shame to our nation with their Asiatic ways are essentially why we get survey results such as this -
Russian Poll Results:
Let's please put to sleep the Քաջ Նազար that dwells in us all and be sober minded enough to realize that without Armenia's alliance, Russia, the largest and one of the most powerful and one of the wealthiest nations on earth today can somehow survive. Trust me on this. And let's put to sleep the պատրոնդաշ կապած չոբան that lives in us all and realize that without tacit Russian support - Armenia's statehood in the south Caucasus has no chance in hell.

These are not my compatriots

Before anyone tells me that I'm overreacting and that this was only several hundred protesters and nothing more, I would again remind you that according to a very recent Russian survey, nearly one-third of Armenians (that's nearly one million if we are to believe that Armenia's population is three million) do not want closer integration with Russia. Thus, one-third of Armenia's three million population has the predisposition to participate in these types of anti-Russian activities or at the very least support them in one way or another.

And before anyone tries to tell me that these are my people and that I need to love them or be tolerant towards them, let me just tell you that these are the offsprings of those who enthusiastically gave themselves to Muslims, Kurds, Arabs, Persians and Turks during much of the past one thousand years. These cannot be my compatriots. These are the offsprings of rabid animals that time-and-again betrayed the Armenian state to invading armies. These are the offsprings of rabid animals that killed and dismembered Prince Toros of Eddessa and asked a Frank to rule over them. These are the offsprings of rabid animals that murdered the great Mkhitar Sparapet and presented his severed head to the Turkish Pasha of Isfahan as a peace offering. These are the offsprings of rabid animals that time-and-again betrayed our nationalistic revolutionaries inside the Ottoman Empire. 

No, these cannot be my compatriots.

As far as I'm concerned, these are the offsprings of rabid animals that have historically kept Armenians stateless, weak and vulnerable. And today, these are the animals in our midst pushing a suicidal Western agenda in my beloved homeland.

These people are not my compatriots for they are obstacles in the way of Armenia. These people are our enemies from within. And as long as we continue tolerating these kinds of people in our homeland, Armenia will remain a nation always on the verge of collapse.

As one of my readers suggested, why not compile list of all these "patriots" that were bravely protesting President Putin's arrival in Armenia, and when the next war breaks-out between Armenia and Azerbaijan, gather them all up and send them to the battlefield to show us their patriotic zeal.

But let's not kid ourselves, had it not been for Putin's Russia these "patriots" would be running for their miserable lives when Turks or Azeris come knocking on the door. In fact, had it not been for the Russian presence in the south Caucasus for the past two hundred years every single one of these "patriots" would be living in eastern Turkey or northern Iran herding goats today.

As an Armenian, I'm deeply ashamed that Azeris, a people that view Russia as a pro-Armenian enemy state, showed President Putin much more respect than our self-destructive peasantry. As an Armenian, I'm deeply ashamed that that our imbeciles enthusiastically kissed Nikolai Sakozy's ass when that two-faced filthy clown was in Armenia, and I am pretty sure they would have done the same and much-much more to Obama if he had ever gone. And where were these morons masquerading as Armenian patriots when Abdulah Gul visited Armenia? 

Where were these morons when an anti-Armenian and a criminal of global proportions like Hillary Clinton visited Armenia? They were getting medals by her unholiness -
It is now being reported that the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu will be visiting Armenia shortly. Let's see if the following asshole in the picture below will be out protesting in this manner when the Turk arrives -

Armenians will be Armenians (i.e. emotionally unstable, psychologically challenged, abhorrently arrogant, self-destructive and politically ignorant). Instead of doing our best to embrace a powerful superpower that is in a close alliance with Armenia, we are doing our best to make sure Russians loath us. And we admire Jews? What a bunch of confused people we are.

My awakening

Growing up, I was always interested in international relations and history. The more I studied politics and Armenian history, the more I found myself angrily cursing at my ancestors for not having the political fortitude and the collective strength to preserve a powerful Armenian state during the past two thousand years. Growing up, I thought: we Armenians had learned our lessons well, if we only had the opportunity now, Armenia would once again be from "sea-to-sea"!

Well, now that I have grown up and seen all that needs to be seen, I find myself angrily cursing Armenians of today.

Deep seated emotional issues, arrogance, jealousy, materialism, disunity and political illiteracy may very well be genetic traits in us.  

Due to its very difficult geographic location, Armenia is a nation that demands the most of its sons and daughters. I'm afraid Armenia's sons and daughters are not yet up to the task. I had a very harsh awakening on March 1, 2008 when I woke up that day to find tens-of-thousands of my "compatriots" ransacking our beautiful capitol in the name of a filthy criminal and a traitor that had already once raped and pillaged the country during the 1990s.

Before that time, like many of you reading this, I was very positive about Armenians. I thought we had more-or-less learned from our previous mistakes. I thought we had a nationalistic and powerful Diaspora in the US. I thought we were somehow better than all the others. Not anymore.  

I was profoundly impacted by what I saw on the morning of March 1, 2008 and by what I have been seeing since then. I have come to see that the typical Armenian today is in fact an obstacle for Armenia's forward progress. I have since learned to disregard the Armenian when it comes to doing things for Armenia. I have since learned to place Armenia above the Armenian. Since then, Armenians have never ceased to amaze me with their political illiteracy and self-destructive behavior.

God save Armenia from democracy. And as strange as this may sound, for Armenia's sake, I do not believe Armenians deserve full independence. 

Once again, watching Western-led imbeciles in Yerevan protesting in the vilest of manners against a nation that has singlehandedly kept Armenia from disappearing from the world's map once again, and against a man that is the greatest ruler of our times was very surreal and profoundly depressing. 

I hope this has once again thought us a lesson or two about ourselves and what we need to do for Armenia. 

I hope my readers can now begin to understand that this kind of political illiteracy is part of the reason why we Armenians have not had a state to be proud about in well over one thousand years. I hope my readers are now beginning to understand why I say democracy is one of the most serious threats facing Armenia today. I hope my readers are now beginning to understand why I say Armenians should only be ruled by an authoritarian government. I hope my readers can now understand why I reserve more hope in Russians than in Armenians when it comes to the security of Armenia. 

I hope my readers are now beginning to understand why I have been saying one must search the deepest African jungle or the remotest Arabian desert village to find a tribe of people more politically ignorant and self-destructive as us Armenians. 

Nevertheless, despite the barkings of the Western press and our rabid street dogs in Armenia, I am extremely satisfied with the state visit by President Putin. As hoped for, his arrival yielded unprecedented results. A sampling of news articles are provided below this commentary.

What does this mean for Artsakh? 

Recent regional developments mean that the resolution of the dispute over Artsakh may finally be near. Having returned to the south Caucasus after a near twenty years hiatus, Moscow will not want a festering wound to get in the way of its regional agenda. This is where things might get a little worrying for us Armenians. There may be one more bout, a quick, decisive and a predetermined battle between Yerevan and Baku that will settle the matter for once and for all.

Allow me to set one thing straight: Ankara and Baku know that the only thing standing between them and their grand prize in the south Caucasus (i.e. Armenia and Artsakh) is Moscow. In the big picture, Turks are not afraid of Armenia's tiny military, nor are they afraid of the big talking yet utterly worthless Armenian Diaspora. Historically, Turks have only been afraid of the Russian Bear. This is why Armenia's antagonists have been placing much of their efforts on trying to drive a wedge between Yerevan and Moscow. This is why Yerevan's decision to enter the Customs Union was a important strategic step to secure Armenia's long-term existence. With all due respects to the brave men and women serving in the Armenian armed forces today, without direct Russian support Armenia would simply be unable to mount an effective, long-term defense of Artsakh if or when her larger and wealthier neighbors decide to resort to sustained violence once again. We Armenians were able to liberate Artsakh during the chaotic years following the Soviet Union's collapse (even then only after Russian support began coming into Armenia starting in early 1992, when the Soviet Union had collapsed and a new Russian state was born in its place). 

But as my favorite Wall Street saying goes: Past performances do not guarantee future results.

Armenia today is a demoralized (thanks to the country's doom-and-gloom opposition freaks), impoverished, tiny, remote, landlocked and a blockaded nation surrounded by enemies in one of the most volatile regions of the world - and the traditional Armenian Diaspora (the diaspora comprising of Ottoman-Armenian genocide survivors) is simply too busy obsessing over genocide recognition in Washington, too busy assimilating and too busy complaining about dirty toilets in Yerevan. 

With the following news item we vividly see where Diasporan priorities lie -
And here is an ARF "ungeruhi" coming out of the closet. Please don't forget to read the posted comments as well -
While I'm on the topic of our Diaspora, I want to provide the reader with two additional examples of how the Diaspora's role in Armenia has been diminishing with each passing year. 

The following author is using an ARF venue to more-or-less celebrate the day he washed his hands of Armenia... but of course he continues to be engaged with an NGO that promotes peace between Arabs and Israelis -
And the following author (a self-engrossed "PhD" who is also a well known kurdophile) is using the same ARF venue to claim that Armenia today is no longer the "spiritual homeland" of Diasporan Armenians -
There you have it folks. Besides assimilating into their beloved diasporan homelands, looking down on Hayastantsis and complaining about dirty toilets in Armenia; besides treating Armenia as an exotic zoo or a laboratory experiment; besides pushing a Western agenda or championing gay rights, can someone please tell me what else is the traditional Diaspora (i.e. offsprings of Ottoman-Armenian genocide survivors) good for these days? 

Times like this (and these times are unfortunately increasing in frequency) I'm deeply ashamed of my "ախպար" pedigree. 

While the oil rich anti-Armenian dictatorship in Baku is busy spending billions of Dollars acquiring a large arsenal of modern weaponry from around the world, we Armenians are busy infighting, washing our hands of our homeland, having kurdophilic fantasies about Western Armenia, pursuing dangerous Western sociopolitical fairytales in Armenia, pathetically crying at the feet of Western officials every April 24 and, of course, bravely championing gay rights!!!

This is where the "one-million strong American-Armenian Diaspora" is today.

A further indicator of the traditional Diaspora's gradual decline and its marginalization was seen in the results of the latest Hayastan All-Armenia Fund telethon -
During this most reputable organization's most recent fund raising effort, the Russian-Armenian community contributed more money than all others combined! By comparison, US Western Region (which hosts one of the largest, the loudest and unfortunately the best known Armenian Diaspora in the world) and the US Eastern Region contributed a shameful $2 million and $1 million respectively. Although pathetically sad and very disappointing (especially in California's case), this nevertheless does not come as a surprise for me. This is essentially the price we Armenians pay for having community activists and representatives (e.g. Ara Manoogian, Garo Ghazarian, Jirayr Libaridian, Ara Khachaturian, Robert Davidian, Harout Bronozian, David Grigorian, et alii) and organizations (Policy Forum Armenia, ARF, Asbarez, Armenian Assembly of America, AGBU, Armenian Weekly, Armenian Bar Association, etc) that are in service of Washington. 

The Diaspora has effectively put itself out of the equation in Armenia. 

The Diaspora has effectively isolated itself from its homeland by continuing to do what the Bolsheviks started - driving a wedge between itself and the homeland. Moreover, the Diaspora is no longer a major factor in Artsakh.

Official Yerevan cannot therefore afford to be under any illusions today. We Armenians cannot make the grave mistake of overestimating our capabilities and underestimating our enemies'. Militarily, Azerbaijan is getting stronger with time. If for some reason Moscow stopped providing military support for Armenia and gave Baku a green light to attack, we will, sooner than later, lose Artsakh - if not more.

But Moscow will not abandon Armenia nor give Baku the green light to attack Artsakh. 

What will Moscow gain from strengthening Turkish, Islamic and Western interests in the strategic south Caucasus by weakening Armenia by bolstering an Azerbaijan, especially after investing so much for so many years in Armenia?

Had Turkish/Azeris money or oil been a real factor in Russia's foreign policy formulations in the south Caucasus, which is what many of our Russophobes claim, Moscow would have sold Armenia to Turks many years ago. But the reality is that Armenia and Artskah today play a very major role for Moscow. Artsakh's existence as a Russia-friendly Armenian fortress overlooking Azerbaijan serves the Kremlin's geostrategic interests. Equally important for Russians, the dispute over Artsakh also ensures Yerevan's and Baku's political dependence on Moscow. Moreover, Artsakh is essentially an arms depot with a battle ready population that will not bow to anyone and the Artsakh-Armenian military leadership enjoy a very close relations with their Russian counterparts.

Therefore - strategically, economically, tactically and practically - Moscow will not do anything that will drastically change the status quo in Artsakh. Armenian sovereignty over Artsakh is therefore set in stone. 

Nevertheless, now that Yerevan's allegiance has been secured via Armenia's ascension to join the Moscow-led Customs Union, I expect Moscow to earnestly begin pursuing bringing Baku under its fold as well.

Of course a best case scenario, from an Armenian perspective, would be if Baku continues to remain inflexible in its dealings with Moscow and Yerevan. There are encouraging signs that Western powers may be placing more emphasis on their dealings with Baku now as a result of the September 3 decision by Yerevan. With a Russia-friendly government now in Tbilisi and with Yerevan firmly under Russia's wing, Western policymakers will do everything they can to keep a presence in Baku. The following is a revealing Washington Times article about  Azerbaijan that essentially reads like a tacky infomercial -
As you can see, Western powers will do everything they can - even paint a bloody dictator like Aliyev in peachy colors - just to keep Baku engaged. But there is not much else they can do to turn the tide in the south Caucasus. If Baku gives in to Moscow, which is what it will most likely do sooner or later, Yerevan will eventually be faced will coming to terms with a final settlement.

And this is where things might get somewhat ugly.

We might experience a short, choreographed war to convince both sides to come to the negotiation table and settle the Artsakh dispute for once and for all. As a final negotiated settlement with Baku, Yerevan may be expected to return some of the "seven regions" taken outside of Artsakh proper in order to settle Azeri refugees. [My biggest concern here is the fate of the territories west and south of Artsakh, namely strategic regions between Karvajar in the north-west and the Iranian border in the south-east] In return, Baku would be expected to recognize Artsakh's independence or its reunification with Armenia and perhaps return some areas of Artsakh currently under its control.

It is of paramount importance to mention here that the degree and depth of the concessions that would be expected from Yerevan is ultimately up to the diplomatic acumen of Armenian politicians and the lobbying efforts of our political activists in Moscow. 

Moscow will eventually want to resolve the dispute between Yerevan and Baku under terms that meet its regional interests. Therefore, if Armenians holding on to all of the liberated territories suites its interests, it will support it. In my opinion, the primary responsibility of holding on to every square centimeter of liberated Artsakh falls upon the shoulders of Armenian politicians and Armenian lobbyists.

Instead of complaining and fear mongering and threatening closer relations with Western powers, as some of us tend to do when things don't go our way with Moscow, we Armenians need to draw on all our national assets and make a strong case for Artsakh within the walls of the Kremlin.

Yerevan must do all it can to find an way to convince the Kremlin that keeping Artsakh whole and powerful is in the long-term geostrategic interests of the Russian Federation. If it can't this, Armenia may be forced to pullback from certain territories. Therefore, Artsakh's ultimate fate is to a certain degree in the hands of our politicians and activists and subject to our ability to recruit, convince and/or manipulate Kremlin officials into our national cause. 

Sadly, however, I do not see much of an effort being put into this vital strategic matter by Armenians in Armenia or by our "democracy" obsessed Armenians in the Diaspora. On one side, we have Russophobic Captain Americas attempting to spread fear and hate of Russians and on the other side we have Russophile chobans expecting Russian officials to decide everything. 

The recent controversy regarding political activist and intellectual Zori Balayan's letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin may indeed be a sign that the dispute over Artsakh is beginning to take center-stage. Balayan's letter may be a sign that Moscow is seeking to get more involved in the disputed region. Here is a relatively unbiased report on the matter from ArmeniaNow -
Experts say 200 years on, Russo-Persian peace deal still relevant:
This issue should also be looked at within the context of the following conference - 
Russian Expert: Nagorno Karabakh’s ties with Russia should be as strong as with Armenia:
Unlike his naysayers (i.e. armchair generals in the Diaspora and Western funded opposition freaks in Armenia) Balayan is a genuine patriot and a man very worthy of respect. Balayan did not call for turning Artsakh over to Russia. Balayan is calling on Moscow to remember the region’s political history and assume responsibility to settle the festering matter in Armenia’s benefit. In other words, with the south Caucasus coming back under the Bear's influence, farsighted patriotic men like Balayan are simply trying to prepare the field of play for Armenia's benefit. 

Therefore, unlike what our Captain Americas and nationalist nutjobs are claiming, the matter at hand is not about placing Artsakh under Russian jurisdiction, it's about deriving the best possible outcome from the current geopolitical climate in the south Caucasus.

What Balayan did was what I have been wishing to see Armenian officials do all these years: Lobbying Russian officials!

It's clear that Moscow is getting serious with regards to the dispute over Artsakh. The pro-and-cons of Russian involvement in Artsakh can be debated. Yes, Russia has indeed a historic responsibility in the region, a responsibility to correct the wrongs of history. But, again, I would like to emphasize here the paramount importance of Armenian lobbying efforts in Moscow. We cannot sit back and expect - or demand - that Russians to do the right thing for Armenia. Armenians need to embark on a collective, pan-national effort to make a case for Artsakh's territorial integrity. Armenians need to figure out a way to make Artsakh a strategic asset for policymakers in Moscow. Armenians need to work on making sure they will have a major input in whatever the final settlement will look like.

It won't be an uphill battle: Russo-Armenian interests within the south Caucasus converge for the most part. 

In fact, we are seeing this historic convergence of political interests between Russia and Armenia extending to Artsakh as well. Breaking all diplomatic norms, Moscow has again gone out of its way - risking serious political damage - to express its steadfast support for the Armenian state. In a recent interview, the commander of the recently modernized and supplied 102nd Russian military base stationed in Gyumri, Armenia stated in an interview that if Baku attempts to take Artsakh by military force, his troops may join Armenian forces in retaliating against Azeri forces - 
Colonel Andrey Ruzinsky: Russian Troops in Gyumri will Retaliate If Azerbaijan Attacks Artsakh:
In my opinion, Baku did not need to hear this most recent Russian warning. Azeris have long known where Russia stands on the issue of Artsakh. Their fear of the Bear is the primary reason why Baku and friends have not initiated major military hostilities against Armenia and Artsakh in recent years. Westerners, Israelis, Turks, Azeris and Wahhabi Islamists know that the only thing standing in their way against the total subjugation of the south Caucasus is the Russian presence in Armenia. In other words, the aforementioned antagonists are not truly concerned about Armenia's tiny military nor do they fear Armenia's big talking, under performing Diaspora. Simply put, they fear Russia. This is why Western agents (you know their names) have been tasked with disseminating Russophobia in Armenia. Their desire is to undermine Russo-Armenia relations so that it never reaches its potential. Needless to say, the Western press was quick to criticize the Russian commander's comments -
Russia Shows its Hand on Karabakh:
Nevertheless, what's interesting here is how serious geostrategic calculations always trumps money and lobbying. Turks and Azeris have been much smarter than us Armenians in that they, unlike us Armenians, recognize the paramount importance of the Russian factor in the south Caucasus and have accordingly placed a lot of emphasis on lobbying Russian officials and spending large sums of money in Russia. Here we see billionaire Ara Abrahamyan, one of Russia's most prominent Armenians and one who enjoys a close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, sounding the alarm about the lack of political activism by Armenians in Moscow - 
Thankfully, despite the very lucrative dealings Russian officials have with Ankara and Baku, when it comes to serious political matters, we have been seeing Russian officials always placing national interests above profit. Needless to day, nations such as Syria, Iran and Armenia have enjoyed the fruits of Russia's mature foreign policy calculations. 

For better or for worst, Moscow is the alpha and the omega of Caucasian politics, and nothing will be changing this reality for the foreseeable future. Therefore, let's all realize this, accept this, and try to exploit this for Armenia's long term benefit.

Despite it all, better times are ahead

President Putin's visit to Armenia bolstered the blockaded and embattled nation politically, economically and militarily. President Putin and President Sargsyan's review of the modernized military base in Gyumri was very impressive to say the least. The 102nd Russian military base stationed on the Armenian-Turkish border has become a powerful  military outpost that NATO will never encroach upon -
Սերժ Սարգսյանը և Վլադիմիր Պուտինը 102-րդ ռուսական ռազմակայանում:
Moreover, I was very glad that the Russian government has decided to waive export duties to Armenia for natural gas and raw diamonds. I was deeply touched that President Putin visited the Gyumri's earthquake memorial as well as the Armenian Genocide memorial on the outskirts of Yerevan. And I am very hopeful that the Russian-Armenian business forum will begin to yield tangible results in a nation languishing from twenty years of political indecision.

In short, every single thing we saw President Putin do in Armenia was essentially a loud messege to Turks and Western powers alike, and it said: Keep your hands off Armenia!

There has also been other, somewhat unexpected, positive developments coming out of Russia's growing presence inside Armenia. Washington and Ankara are all of a sudden expressing strong desires to reengage Yerevan in negotiations -

Davutoglu Invited to Armenia for BSEC Summit: /davutoglu-invited-to-armenia-for-bsec-summit/
Turkey issues new roadmap, relations with Armenia included:
ANCA Welcomes Results Of U.S.-Armenia Economic Talks:

In my opinion, the above is Uncle Sam's attempt at salvaging what little influence it has left in Armenia. They even seem to have their partners in Ankara softening their approach to Yerevan. In other words, with Yerevan no longer afraid of Western or Turkish threats and no longer dependent on US or European bribes and handouts, Washington is readjusting its approach to Armenia to preserve at least some of its dwindling presence in the country. Interestingly, even the "Millennium Challenge" bribe program has been unexpectedly renewed. Mind you that this was one of Washington's largest aid programs in Armenia and it was suspended around 2009 due to "serious concerns about corruption in the Armenian government". Is Armenia less "corrupt" now in the eyes of Washingtonian reptiles? Of course not.

It's basically Uncle Sam's turn to start kissing some Armenian ass. 

Armenia's growing clout in regional affairs has become possible because President Putin's Russia has turned Armenia into an epicenter of activity in the south Caucasus. As a result, Armenia has become an impregnable fortress and now stands on the verge of becoming a major trade hub and an important crossroads connected north, south, east and west.

Armenia is now finally on the right path. 

I can finally see some light at the end of our long and dark tunnel. Thanks to the farsighted decision made by President Sargsyan on September 3, 2013, I sincerely believe better times are ahead for our homeland.

Once more, for those who are having a problem with this: Deeper Russian involvement in Armenia simply means closer, more effective political, military, economic and financial cooperation between former Soviet states - and not the lose of Armenia's "independence" as our Western funded activists are desperately trying to convince us. No, Bolshevism is not returning to Armenia. No, the Soviet Union is not returning to Armenia. And no, the Russian nation does not have the appetite - or is stupid enough - to ever seek the resurrection of the Russian Empire. 

Thus, when we talk about greater Russian involvement in the context of former Soviet republics, what we are essentially talking about is a Russian-led confederation of independent states closely working with each other. Suggesting anything else is utter nonsense derived from Western propaganda, political illiteracy and/or paranoia. 

Addressing those who claim Armenia has become too dependent on Russia, I ask: What is the alternative, piss off Russia by seeking Western integration? Does any one remember what happened to Georgia, a nation that even had strong support from the US, Britain, Europe Turkey and Israel? Unlike Georgia, Armenia has no real friend in this world - other than Russia. Iran is simply a friendly nation. We cannot realistically expect the kind of support we see from Russia coming from an Islamic Iran. Besides which, Iran is also a nation targeted by the Anglo-American-Zionist alliance and friends.

Tiny, demoralized, impoverished, desolate, landlocked, remote and blockaded in a very Turkic, Islamic and hostile geographic region of the world, Armenia has no choice but to be dependent on Russia. Please read the following words of advise by a Turk and try to draw some conclusions -
There is nothing that Ankara wants more today than having us Armenians expel Russia from Armenia. Of course the same can be said about "opposition" activists in Armenia such as Raffi Hovanissian and Paruyr Hayrikian. Washington's and Ankara's geostrateigc agenda for Armenia during the past twenty years have been to blockade and starve Armenia into submission, and to flood Armenia with political activists, independent journalists and rights advocates to exploit the fledgling nation's growing pains and to sow fear towards Russia. Simply put: Starving Armenia economically, making it defenseless militarily and breaking Armenian morale via a viscous information war is what "freedom loving" officials in Washington and their pan-Turkist allies in Ankara have been pursuing. 

Yerevan's ascension to the Russian led Customs Union will be strategic in that it will solve Armenia's most pressing problem: Gaining Armenia access to a very large, multinational market to help it revitalize its stagnant economy, and keep the embattled nation protected militarily against regional Turkic predators. Moreover, and I cant repeat this enough: 
Armenian independence from Russia means Armenian dependence on Turkey
As I have said, Armenia's political opposition's agenda in Armenia is fully inline with that of Ankara's. As I have said, Armenia's political opposition (virtually the whole gamut) is comprised of foreign mercenaries and traitors to the Armenian nation. Any Armenian today that expresses anti-Russian sentiments is either an imbecile or a traitor to the Armenian nation. There is no other way to explain it anymore. Once again, for Armenia, independence from Russia means dependence on Turkey -
George Friedman: "Russian presence in Armenia is bad for Turkey, Keep Armenia isolated":
Thankfully, Russia has once again become the political alpha and the omega of the south Caucasus. Let's therefore learn to put aside our egos, emotions and biases and accept this reality and work with this reality for Armenia's long-term benefit.

Let's also recognize that Armenia's recent rise as a regional power has only been possible due to the near total control Moscow has had over Armenia's energy and military sectors. In the world of realpolitik, Moscow would be much less willing to empower Armenia had it not been able to secure Yerevan's total dependence. Why trust anyone, especially a problematic people like us Armenians? Moscow will only trust Armenia if it can verify Yerevan's allegiance to it. And the only way Moscow can do so is if it keeps Yerevan dependent on it by controlling sensitive sectors within Armenia.

This is an opportunity. Armenians can use this time period to strengthen Armenia militarily and economically by ensuring that Moscow remains fully and unequivocally convinced that Armenia will be staying firmly within its orbit for the foreseeable future. Armenians can strengthen Armenia militarily and economically by convincing top level policymakers within Russia that a more powerful - but fully dependent - Armenia in the south Caucasus can be exploited by Moscow to achieve a strategic balance of powers between Armenians, Georgians and Turks and can project Russian power throughout the region via Armenia. 
As I have said, as long as the Armenian language remains Armenia's national language and as long as Armenia is able to maintain its homegrown armed forces, I prefer greater Russian involvement inside Armenia to off-set the corrosive effects of Westernization and Globalism.   

I rather have an Armenia that is economically prosperous and militarily powerful but dependent on Russia than have an Armenia that is "independent" of Russia but politically unstable, economically depressed and dependent on Turkey. 

The only major political entity in the world today (and for the foreseeable future) that has a strategic interest in seeing Armenia exist as a nation-state in the south Caucasus is the Russian Federation. In the harsh realities of the south Caucasus there are simply no alternatives to Russia.
Moreover, those, such as myself, who greatly appreciate western/European civilization (not to be confused with Anglo-American-Zionist Westernization or Western Globalism) and want to see its preservation should come to the realization that the Russian Federation today is gradually turning into the bastion of western/European civilization - as the Western world (i.e. Northern America, Britain and the European Union) commits cultural suicide. 
Nevertheless, Armenia today stands on the verge of becoming a major Russian-backed regional trade hub. Armenia stands poised to be a strategic point between the Eurasian Customs Union and the Middle East, Turkey and Europe. I see light at the end of the tunnel. Therefore, let's wake-up from our EUrotic fantasies and American dreams and use this historic opportunity for the betterment of our Armenian homeland. 

Geopolitics is one of the most important yet least understood topics on earth, especially amongst our people. The Armenian sheeple have been taught by their Western shepherds to say: what geopolitics(?) when your people are starving!

Well, without the proper understanding of Armenia's geopolitical environment and the clever implementation of a well conceived geostrategy, Armenia will continue starving even under best of circumstances. Without a clear geostrategic vision, Armenia may disappear from the map once again. 

The pursuit of Western fairytales such as "democracy" and "human rights" in Armenia are dangerous red-herrings that only serve to stagnate the fledgling nation politically and economically and prevent us Armenians from collectively pursuing more important, more strategic matters facing our embattled nation.

Thankfully, we have had some competent leaders at the helm in Yerevan. President Sargsyan's September 3 decision was a very wise geostrategic move that will begin paying enormous dividends in the near future. Pax Russicana in the south Caucasus holds many promises. As you will see with the following news developments, the chess pieces are already slowing falling into place.

God bless Armenia. God bless Russia. And may God help protect the historic alliance between Yerevan and Moscow from all enemies both foreign and domestic. 

December, 2013


Putin: Moscow to Strengthen its Position in South Caucasus

Russia intends to strengthen its position in the South Caucasus, President Vladimir Putin said at the Russian-Armenian Interregional Forum. He said the position would strengthen "relying on the best inheritance from our ancestors and the good relations with all countries of the region, including Armenia.""As to the South Caucasus, Russia has never planned to leave it. On the contrary, we are going to strengthen our position in the South Caucasus," Putin said. He said the position would strengthen "relying on the best inheritance from our ancestors and the good relations with all countries of the region, including Armenia."

Putin proposes to bolster cooperation between Russian, Armenian regions

President Vladimir Putin has called for developing cooperation between Russian and Armenian regions. Interregional cooperation is becoming "a major factor in the strengthening of [bilateral] trade and economic relations," the Russian leader told the audience at the Third Russian-Armenian Forum in Gyumri.

"It already involves all the regions of Armenia and about 70 regions of Russia," Putin said. "It is important to continue the enlargement of the potential of the mutually advantageous partnership, to involve small and medium businesses in interregional cooperation, to broaden youth and tourism exchanges and to establish contacts between communities, civil and public organizations," the Russian president said.

Russia is a leading trade partner and the main investor in Armenia. The bilateral trade turnover grew more than 20% and topped $1.2 billion in 2012, Putin said. Accumulated investment from Russia exceeded $3 billion, which was more than 40 percent of the entire foreign investment in Armenia.

The joint infrastructural and energy projects are being implemented, the Russian leader said. He mentioned the commercial operation of the fifth unit of the Razdan thermal power plant, the enlargement of the facilities of the Sevan-Razdan hydropower cascade, the extended period of operation of the Armenian nuclear power plant and the modernization of Armenian railroads.

Putin greeted the forum delegates and said "the traditions of confidence and friendship continued to shape up bilateral relations as a partnership and an alliance."

"The city of Gyumri [former Leninakan] which survived a devastating earthquake 25 year ago became a symbol of mutual support and close relations bonding Russia and Armenia," 
the president said.

The Russian and Armenian presidents, Vladimir Putin and Serzh Sargsian, attended the commissioning of the fifth unit of the Razdan thermal power plant on Monday. After the teleconference with Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller, who was staying on the thermal power plant's premises, the Presidents wished success to the power plant's personnel.

Vladimir Putin and Serzh Sargsian had a teleconference with Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller, who was staying on the thermal power plant's premises. Miller said the 480-megawatt unit built with investment by Gazprom was ready to be commissioned and would generate 3.3 billion kilowatt/hours of electricity. Power Plant Director Karen Sargsian announced the beginning of the unit's commercial operation.

He said that the unit was now contributing 280 megawatts to Armenian power grids. Putin asked about the size of the investment made in the project. Miller said it was slightly more than $300 million. Presidents Putin and Sargsian wished success to the power plant's personnel.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived in Gyumri, the first leg of his state visit to Armenia. Later he will attend a meeting of the Third Russian-Armenian Interregional Forum, where the presidents of Russia and Armenia will make their first appearance at the forum, whose main theme is the upcoming accession of Armenia to the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space.

Putin will come from the airport to the Gyumri Drama Theater to participate in the commissioning of the fifth unit of the Razdan thermal power plant during a teleconference. This is a unique project incorporating the newest engineering solutions: it combines steam turbine and gas turbine technologies for the first time ever. The unit's rated output is 467 megawatts.

The Russian president will attend a meeting of the Third Russian-Armenian Interregional Forum. The presidents of Russia and Armenia will make their first appearance at the forum, whose main theme is the upcoming accession of Armenia to the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space.

All the Armenian regions and more than 70 regions of Russia are engaged in interregional cooperation between Russia and Armenia. The forum will have over 600 delegates. After the forum Putin will lay wreaths to the monument to the victims of the Spitak earthquake and visit the Russian military base in Gyumri. The Russian force stationed in Armenia is committed to covering the southern flank of Russia and to protect Armenia as a member of the Collective Security Treaty.

The enlargement of the Russian military base was announced in 2005 after the signing of a number of bilateral documents.

Armenia transferred some land plots and real estate items to the base. The staff of the Russian forces formerly deployed in the South Caucasus and some of the personnel and armaments previously stationed in Georgia have been transferred to the base. The Russian president will tour the base and speak to Russian servicemen before he goes to Yerevan.

After his arrival in Yerevan, Putin and Armenian President Serzh Sargsian will lay wreaths to the memorial to the victims of the Armenian genocide. The presidents will have a meeting and participate in Russian-Armenian negotiations. The negotiations will end with the signing of joint documents and a statement by the two presidents for the press.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday is arriving in Armenia on a state visit. Central streets and squares of the country’s capital Yerevan are decorated with state tricoloured flags of the two countries that maintain allied relations. Russia and Armenia are currently tied by close co-operation in the political, economic, military and humanitarian spheres.

"The volume, depth and level of allied strategic interaction between Armenia and Russia speak for themselves, but we can and should achieve more," Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian said. According to him, "such an intensive political dialogue is natural between countries-allies."

"Armenia and Russia have signed more than 200 treaties and agreements, the bilateral regulatory framework is being permanently improved," the minister said. "In terms of the trade-economic relations Russia is our number one partner, half of the total foreign investment in Armenia is made by Russia."

"More than 1,300 enterprises with Russian capital work in our country," Nalbandian said. "Economic relations in such spheres as communications, transport, energy, including nuclear energy, information technology, the mining industry, agriculture are successfully developing."

"The intergovernmental commission for economic co-operation, the military-technical co-operation commission, inter-parliamentary commission are working effectively," the minister said.

"We pay considerable attention to the development of interregional contacts: all Armenian regions and more than 70 subjects of the Russian Federation are involved in this work," Nalbandian stressed. The humanitarian relations are on the rise.

"We intend to continue to exert efforts aimed at further raising efficiency of foreign political coordination," Nalbandian said. "We seek to continue fruitful cooperation within the framework of international organisations based on respect for mutual interests."

Yerevan has great expectations of the country’s participation in Eurasian integration. "Armenia is linked with the Customs Union countries by thousands of threads, one-third of our exports go to Russia," Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said at a plenary meeting on the parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg on October 2.

In Armenia, Putin Seeks Stronger Role in Caucasus

Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Armenia Monday on his first official visit since regaining the Russian presidency last year and vowed for a stronger Russian role in the Caucasus. Days after President Serzh Sarkisian told European leaders in Vilnius, Lithuania that Armenia will continue to pursue “measured” relations with Europe, he met with his Russian counterpart to discuss continued development of the two countries’ strategic partnership, trade and economic relations, as well as Armenia’s membership in the Customs Union.

At a press conference following his meeting, Putin vowed that Russia would do everything in its power to ensure Armenia’s membership in the Customs Union, saying that all steps had been taken toward that goal.

In his remarks, Putin also discussed the ongoing Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the role Russia plays in the security of the region. He said Russia did not want bloodshed on its borders. He addressed Azerbaijan’s military threats against Armenia head on saying in the event of resumption of war, “Conditions for a peaceful resolution will be reduced, and other means of resolving the conflict will be reinforced.”

Putin also emphasized that it would be counterproductive to speak about what Russia will do if war resumes. “We must try to solve all disputable issues exceptionally in a political, diplomatic way. That’s what we’ll be aspiring for,” he said.

During the meeting, a number of documents were signed between the two countries. One such document envisions the cancelation of export duties for supplies of natural gas, oil products and diamonds. Another outlined Russian cooperation in nuclear safety. Putin arrived in Gyumri on Monday morning, where after the official welcoming ceremony, he and Sarkisian attended the third Russian-Armenian Forum, at which the Customs Union was again a priority topic of discussion.

In praising the virtues of the Customs Union, Putin told the Forum that since joining the alliance, Kazakhstan and Belarus have experienced growth in their countries’ gross domestic product during the first half of 2013.

“Membership in the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space has brought tangible dividends to Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus,” said Putin. Putin said he was confident that Armenia’s accession to the Eurasian integration project “would seriously strengthen its economic potential, improve the investment climate and promote direct business contacts, including those between regions.” Putin and Sarkisian then traveled to Yerevan, where the Russian president was met with anti-Russian, anti-Customs Union protesters, who clashed with anti-riot police. Some 110 protesters were arrested.

Dzidzernagapert Visit 

Putin also visited the Dzidzernagapert Memorial Complex and laid a wreath in memory of the Armenian Genocide victims. He also watered the tree he planted during his state visit in 2001 at the complex’s Memorial Alley. Director of the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute, Haik Demoyan, presented Putin with a replica of gold coins minted in Petrograd in 1915. The coins, which depict the two-headed eagle of the Russian Empire and the traditional Armenian Cross were produced to raise funds for Genocide survivors. While in Gyumri, Sarkisian and Putin visited the Russian military base, commissioned the 5th power unit of Hrazdan Thermal Power Plant and dedicated two stamps commemorating the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics in the Russian city of Sochi. Putin also honored the victims of the 1988 earthquake by placing a wreath at a memorial in Gyumri.

Gazprom becomes the sole owner of ArmRosGazprom

The Russian Gazprom Company on Monday acquired the last 20 percent of ArmRosGazprom Company, reported Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller. Miller, who was in Armenia with Putin’s delegation, said ArmRosGazprom will become a Gazprom subsidiary company, adding that “the Russian gas price for Armenia will change, and will be supplied to Armenia at Russia’s domestic rate.”


Russia Cancels Export Duties for Gas and Diamonds to Armenia

Russia and Armenia on Monday signed an intergovernmental agreement to cancel export duties for supplies of natural gas, oil products and diamonds to the South Caucasus nation. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the deal with his Armenian counterpart, Serzh Sargsyan, during a high-level visit to the country. Armenia decided in September to join the Moscow-led Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. A roadmap on Yerevan’s admission is to be signed later in December.

Sargsyan told journalists on Monday that his country would take the required steps to join the union as soon as possible, and Putin praised Armenia for its efforts. Reuters reported that some 500 people went out to the Armenian capital’s streets on Monday to protest the country’s plans to join the union. reported that more than 100 protesters were detained. The protests followed anti-government demonstrations in Ukraine, which last week halted plans to sign key agreements with the European Union in favor of stronger economic ties with Russia.

Western critics have accused the Kremlin of pressuring former Soviet states to give up their attempts to closer integrate with the European Union. Russia has denied the accusations. Russia and Armenia have agreed that the gas price for Armenia would be cut down to $189 per 1,000 cubic meters, Putin told journalists in Yerevan on Monday. Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan said earlier that the end price for Russian gas including customs duties was $270 per 1,000 cubic meters. The two countries also signed a contract to increase Russian gas deliveries.

Russian energy giant Gazprom will supply up to 2.5 billion cubic meters of gas to Armenia each year from 2014 to 2018, in line with the deal. Last year Gazprom supplied 1.7 billion cubic meters of gas to Armenia.

Putin thanked Armenia’s leadership for creating favorable conditions for Russian business there and said he hoped that bilateral trade this year would exceed last year’s $1.2 billion. The Russian president stressed that Russia remained Armenia’s leading trade and economic partner in terms of both trade and investment. In turn, Sargsyan pledged to do everything to “expand the positive results reached in the recent years” in bilateral collaboration.

An intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in nuclear safety, a plan of action for economic collaboration and other deals were also signed following talks between the two presidents. Prior to the talks, Putin visited a Russian military base in the city of Gyumri.


Armenian-Russian high-level talks in Yerevan; energy, military ties in the spotlight

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan held talks in Yerevan with visiting Russian president Vladimir Putin. The meeting then continued in expanded format with the two countries’ delegations taking part. The subjects on the agenda included continued development of the two countries’ strategic partnership, trade and economic relations and humanitarian cooperation, the outlook for Armenia’s accession to the Customs Union and Common Economic Space.

A number of documents were signed between the parties. In particular, Russia and Armenia signed an intergovernmental agreement to cancel export duties for supplies of natural gas, oil products and diamonds. An intergovernmental agreement on cooperation in nuclear safety, a plan of action for economic collaboration and other deals were also signed following talks between the two presidents. The results of the talks were summed up at a joint press conference. The Russian President spoke about the frequent bellicose statements on the part of Azerbaijan. He clarified how Russia, as Armenia’s strategic partner, will react should Azerbaijan realize the threats.

“Then the conditions for peaceful settlement will be reduced, and the other means for resolving the conflict will be reinforced,” Putin said, adding that they want no bloodshed in the region close to the Russian border.

According to the President, it would be counterproductive to speak about what Russia will do if war resumes. “We must try to solve all disputable issues exceptionally in a political, diplomatic way. That’s what we’ll be aspiring for,” he said.

The two Presidents hailed the positive changes in the attitude of the EU and the United States towards Iran’s nuclear programs. Armenian president Serzh Sargsyan noted that thousands of Iranian tourists visit our country annually and added that “we’ll only benefit from the normalization of relations.

Vladimir Putin said, in turn, that Russia welcomes the nuclear deal on Iran. “This complex issue should be solved on the basis of international law and norms with Iran being granted the right to develop peaceful nuclear energy, of course, on condition that the security of all countries of the region will be guaranteed. Speaking about Armenia’s accession to the Customs Union, Vladimir Putin mentioned no concrete dates, adding that it depends not only on Russia, but also the other members of the CU.  However, everything has been done for the Armenian economy to be ready for accession, he said, adding that Russia is doing its best to have Armenia join the Union as soon as possible. 

RISS expert: Armenia's accession to Customs Union will reinforce Russia's position in Armenia and vice versa

Armenia has been the key military-political and geopolitical Eurasian border since the times of the Russian Empire. Therefore, Russia's strength is a logical result of its military and political power. The special thing about this is that Armenia is Russia's strategic ally and strengthening of one of the allies makes the other stronger as well. The statement came from Artur Atayev, senior research fellow at the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies, in an online interview in response to ArmInfo's question about Russia's growing military presence in Armenia. 

"Maintaining the state of the Karabakh conflict amid ongoing geopolitical, military and political developments in the world is already a success. This is a situation of stable instability. There is no alternative so far. To maintain at least this situation, Moscow's will is required. Armenia's accession to the Customs Union, is a factor that will reinforce Russia's position in Armenia and the vice versa. So, we can see a mutually advantageous cooperation here," the expert said.

At the same time, Atayev sees some objective reasons for Azerbaijan to access the CU, given the sustainable trade and economic relations of that country with Russia. The expert believes that the problem with Baku's accession to the CU is its sustainable economic growth due to the oil resources. Consequently, if Azerbaijan decides to negotiate for accession to the CU, that step will pursue just political goals. 

"In conditions when the CU is growing into an attractive transnational project, it is quite realistic. Even Turkey and India have expressed an intention to join it, so why Azerbaijan shouldn't do it?" the expert said.

Joint online press conference of experts from various countries for Armenian, Azerbaijani and Georgian mass media on the relevant problems are organized within the project "Expansion of knowledge of Armenians and Azerbaijanis about each other and confidence building through first-hand information". The project of the "Region" Research Center (Armenia) and Peace and Democracy Institute (Azerbaijan) is supported by the British Embassies in Armenia and Azerbaijan.


Vladimir Putin visits Armenian Genocide victims memorial

Within the framework of the state visit the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin paid a visit to Tzitzernakaberd Memorial dedicated to the memory of the innocent victims of the Armenian Genocide. As reports “Armenpress”, the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin laid a wreath on the monument commemorating the innocent victims of the Armenian Genocide and honored their memory by a minute of silence. The President of the Republic of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan accompanied the Russian President, and the Director of the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute Hayk Demoyan introduced the history of the greatest crime committed against humanity, which shocked the world in the beginning of the 20th century. This is Vladimir Putin’s second visit to Tzitzernakaberd memorial on the post of the President of the Russian Federation. President Putin paid his first visit to Tzitzernakaberd yet on September 15, 2001 and made the following inscription in the memorial book of the honorary guests of the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute: “Russia always accepted the pain and tragedy of the Armenian people as its own. We bow before the memory of the Armenian Genocide victims.”

Russian President pays tribute to the memory of earthquake victims in Gyumri

The Presidents of Armenia and Russia, Serzh Sargsyan and Vladimir Putin, laid a wreath at the memorial to the victims of the 1988 devastating earthquake in Spitak. The memorial is dedicated also to the rescuers, to all countries and peoples that lent a helping hand to Armenia after the disaster. December 7 will mark the 25th anniversary of the earthquake. Presidents Sargsyan and Putin next visited the 102nd Russian military base in Gyumri. They listened to the reports of the commander of the joint Armenian-Russian military group and the commander of the military base. The 102nd military base greatly contributes to the reinforcement and development of military cooperation between Armenia and Russia and actively participates in the joint events held by the Armed Forces of the two countries. 

Armenia’s accession to CU will strengthen its economic potential, Russian President says

Russian President Vladimir Putin has noted a positive effect from the Customs Union of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus. The countries’ GDP grew 1.7% in the first half of 2013 in spite of the unfavorable economic situation of the past few years, Putin stressed. “Membership in the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space has brought tangible dividends to Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus,” he said at the Third Russian-Armenian Forum in Gyumri on Monday. “Competition between national jurisdictions becomes a totally new phenomenon. Businessmen of Customs Union member countries have a right to choose the place for registration of their companies. This encourages the authorities to create comfortable conditions for business,” Putin said. The Russian President said he was confident that Armenia’s accession to the Eurasian integration project “would seriously strengthen its economic potential, improve the investment climate and promote direct business contacts, including those between regions.” 


Russian expert: Moscow to have direct border with Armenia via Transcaucasian Highway

A Russian political expert told an international conference in Yerevan today that Russia and Armenia would have soon a ‘direct’ border. According to Mikhail Chernov, deputy director of the Center of Strategic Situations, when Armenia announced its decision to join the Customs Union, many people questioned its ability to function as a full member of the trade bloc because of absence of common border with any of its members. However, according to Chernov, this should not worry Armenians because the current situation would change soon.

“There will be direct border between Russia and Armenia and it is a matter of the near future. Russia will be linked directly to Armenia by means of transport and infrastructure facilities,’ he said, elaborating that this would be achieved through development of Trans-Caucasus transport corridors, which were started back by the  Russian Empire and improved by the Soviet Union.

"The main highway that will link the North Caucasus and West Kazakhstan with the South Caucasus is  the Trans-Caucasian Highway. Now there is a motor road connecting Russian Vladikavkaz with South Ossetia’s Tskhinvali and stretching further to Armenia. This road should be upgraded for all types of cargo, including heavy combat military machines,” he said, according to Novosti Armenia news agency.

He went on to say that a just solution to the South Ossetian issue would enable Russia a direct access to the South Caucasus, including Armenia. Chernov added that although South Ossetia is recognized by Russia as an independent state, there are big questions regarding its borders. He said the rights of 30,000 South Ossetians driven out from Trialeti, a region bordering the predominantly Armenian-populated Javakheti province in South Georgia, should be restored. According to him, this applies also to Kazbegi region of Georgia, through which the Georgian Military Road runs. The changing of  Ossetia’s border is related to development of transport infrastructure,  he added.

Thus, he said, Russia would have a direct access to South Caucasus countries, including Armenia. Chernov underlined that neither of Russian transport projects involve military scenarios.

Armenia's Customs Union accession: Russia's gains&losses

A Russian political analyst believes that Moscow will have to spend over $1 billion to cover expenses for Armenia’s accession to the Customs Union, Rosbalt reported.

“In political terms, however, the deal will come as beneficial to Russia. As to economy, it will still be on the losing side over reduction in gas price, cancellation of export duties, Iran-Armenia railway construction expenditures,” the head of the CIS strategic development center at RAS Institute of Europe Alexander Gusev said.

According to other sources, Russia’s expenditures over Armenia’s accession to the CU are expected to top $1 billion. However, Moscow will get a 100% share in joint venture ArmRosGazprom (up from current 80%), which means Russia will gain control over the entire gas distributing network and other strategic sectors in Armenia. Even before the actual accession to the CU, Armenia got serious privileges for Russian export items: natural gas, oil products and diamonds.

According to EDB Centre for Integration Studies, for Armenia, the economic effect from Russia's export duty cancellation will amount to $140 million, with a 4,5% GDP growth predicted, Rosbalt said.

"Russia would probably be willing to offer more privileges in exchange for Armenia's accession to the CU, with the country as a medium for expanding Moscow’s presence in Caspian region and Near East and strengthening its position in South Caucasus. The simplest way to do that would be through increasing the Karabakh settlement efforts.

And it is no coincidence that the U.S. stressed the importance of the OSCE support for the Nagorno Karabakh Republic, Armenia and Ukraine right after the last two countries refused to sign the EU integration deal. Thus, the center of gravity in Russia and West's struggle for the regional presence was shifted onto the unrecognized republic, with its increasing political weight enabling to influence Azerbaijan and Turkey, at the very least.

 Meanwhile, the strengthening military cooperation between Armenia and Russia in CSTO framework is already changing the military balance in the region, stirring concerns in Azerbaijan, Turkey and the West. In December 2013, Armenia will be getting Russian weaponry at domestic prices, with all the negative consequences for Azerbaijan's national and regional security," Irina Jorbenadze said in a piece of opinion published at Rosbalt.


Alexander Gusev: Armenia, Russia should move in one direction

We have deep relations with Armenia dating back thousands of years. The same can be said about our relations with Ukraine. It is understandable that some forces will try to drive a wedge between Russia and Armenia, Russia and Ukraine, but their attempts will fail because there is counter-influence to any kind of influence, head of the Center of Strategic Development of the CIS Countries under the Europe Institute of the RAS, Alexander Gusev, said at a Yerevan-Moscow space bridge on Friday. Mr Gusev noted that he is aware that there are some negative moods in Armenia over the entry into the Customs Union, adding that there have always been such people who tried to hinder integration processes. “Armenia has chosen a path, based on logic, to move forward. Now, Armenia and Russia should move in one direction,” he stressed.


Armenian-Russian inter-regional expo opens in Yerevan

Armenian-Russian inter-regional exhibition of industrial innovations opened today in Yerevan as part of the third Armenian-Russian Interregional Forum “Russia. Armenia. Customs Union.” The expo was visited by co-chairman of Armenian-Russian intergovernmental commission, Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan and Russian co-chairman of the commission, Russian Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov. They toured the pavilions and watched the exhibits. The third Armenian-Russian Interregional Forum titled “Russia. Armenia. Customs Union” opened yesterday in Gyumri. The Presidents of Armenia and Russia addressed the forum’s plenary session. The event brings together some 500 businessmen as well as representatives of central and regional state bodies, regional and non-governmental organizations from Armenia and Russia.

Russia is Armenia's largest trading partner

The key point in the Russia-Armenia trade story now is the upcoming accession of Armenia to the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space. The move was agreed on in early September when presidents of the two states made a joint statement, which has been making headlines ever since. This week Russian President Vladimir Putin has paid an official visit to Armenia to discuss further steps in this direction.

Russia is the biggest foreign investor in Armenia and its largest trading partner. In 2012, bilateral trade grew 22% to reach $1.2 billion. Most trade has been imports to Armenia. In the first half of this year, trade turnover between the two states grew over 11% year-on-year to around $600 million.

The three-member Customs Union of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus was founded in 2010. The plan is to expand it into a so-called “Eurasian Union”, uniting post-Soviet states like Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan. It has been also suggested that the body could include some other countries, historically or culturally close, such as Finland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Vietnam, Mongolia, Cuba and Venezuela. Yerevan had great expectations of the country’s participation in Eurasian integration.

“Armenia is linked with the Customs Union countries by thousands of threads, one-third of our exports go to Russia,” Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said at a meeting on the parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg in October this year.

Russia’s accumulated investments in Armenia have already exceeded $3 billion, or nearly half of Armenia’s foreign investment. Some 1,300 Russian companies operate in the country. Officials say several big players are expected to enter the Armenian market soon, bringing here a great amount of investments. By 2020, the trade turnover between Russia and Armenia is expected to grow up to 15% annually.
Rosneft, Pirelli Tyre Russia and Rosneft- Armenia sign MoU to set up joint venture

Russian  Rosneft, Pirelli Tyre Russia and Rosneft- Armenia signed in Yerevan a memorandum of understanding today to establish a joint venture for production of butadiene- styrene rubber, the press service of Armenian president said. The memorandum and several other agreements aimed at enhancing cooperation were signed after the meeting of Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan with Rosneft head Igor Sechin. At the order of  Russian President Vladimir Putin a special delegation has arrived in Armenia to assess the available opportunities and develop specific action program to modernize Nairit chemical plant in Armenia. In 2006, 90% of Nairit’s shares were sold to British RHinoville Property Limited for $40 million. The remaining 10% belong to the Armenian government. RHinоville Property Lim ited was set up by Polish  Samex, US Intertex  and Russian  Eurogaz . In April 2010 the plant stopped producing rubber. Before the halt,  it sold its products  chloroprene rubber- to EU countries, Russia (about 30% of the exports), the United States and 20 other countries.


Russia to help Armenia fight infant mortality

Russia has contributed more than $120 million to a G8-funded initiative to fight infant mortality in developing countries, a senior Russian diplomat said on Tuesday, Dec 24, according to RIA Novosti. In 2010, the eight largest economies announced the so-called Muskoka Initiative to collectively spend an additional $7.5 billion between 2010 and 2015 for reducing maternal, infant and child mortality in the world’s poorest countries. Ambassador-at-large Vadim Lukov, Russia’s deputy presidential envoy to the G8, said the Russian funds are directed at purchasing medicines and equipment, training doctors and creating a system of post-natal health monitoring for mothers and their babies. Russia helps 12 countries as part of the initiative – Armenia, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Angola, Ethiopia, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Vietnam and Namibia.

Armenia, Russia Expand Air Communication

On December 23, the delegation headed by the Deputy Minister of Economy Garegin Melkonyan left for Moscow to take part in the discussions on the scope of bilateral cooperation in the field of civil aviation with aviation authorities of the Russian Federation. On December 24, the Armenian delegation had a meeting with representatives of the Russian Ministry of Transport. During the meeting the Russian side noted the high interest of the Russian airlines to conduct flights to Armenia. After the meeting, the parties signed a Protocol, making appropriate changes to the Annex of the “Agreement between the Government of the RA and the Government of the RF on cooperation in air communication” of October 4, 1993. According to the Protocol, there will be a higher degree of freedom in the field of civil aviation and air communication, which will allow the airlines of both countries to expand the framework of the  services provided. Thus, Armenia has already launched negotiations with the governments of foreign countries within the framework of the open skies policy.


Russia may organize large donor conference for Armenia

Armenia and Russia are negotiating now over organization of a large-scale donor conference for Armenia, Vigen Sargsyan, head of the Armenian president’s administration, said on Tuesday. He told journalists that the conference may be held in the first half of the next year and the World Bank will take part in it. The key aim of the conference, he said, is to find sources for financing large infrastructural projects designed to spur development of the country’s economy.

Russia’s participation in implementation of large infrastructural projects in Armenia is one of Armenian-Russian cooperation’s top-priority components. Sargsyan said that these projects are focused on railway transportation, road infrastructure and energy sector. Before the parliamentary elections in Armenia in May 2012, the European Union pledged €1.5 billion to Armenia, if the elections conducted properly.  Later, dates of the conference had been postponed many times on various excuses.

German Ambassador to Armenia Reiner Morell said earlier that the idea of organization of a donor conference for providing financial assistance to Armenia should be revised, since Armenia has refused to initial Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA) with the European Union and has expressed its intention to join the Customs Union.

Armenia and Russia may launch the first satellite in three years

Armenia and Russia may launch the first satellite in three years, if they reach an agreement in 2014, Sergey Savelyev, Deputy Director of Roscosmos, the Russian Federal Space Agency, told Regnum. “Russia is ready to help Armenia join the club of space powers,” Savelyev said, adding that Armenia has a great experience in the field from Soviet times. He said the Byurakan Observatory in Armenia is actually being revived with the support of Roscosmos. The observatory has been supplied with Russia-made telescopes. The Armenian and Russian parties are currently working towards launching the satellite to the space. “We are working actively in that direction. Technical studies are now underway,” Sergey Savelyev said.


Draft Agreement on Armenia-Russia Space Cooperation Ready

The draft agreement on cooperation in peaceful uses of outer space has been already developed and is currently going through interstate agencies, press office of Armenia’s National Security Council reported after the meeting of the security council secretary Artur Baghdasaryan with leaders of Russia’s federal space agency (Roscosmos). The sides discussed opportunities and prospects for bilateral cooperation in space and reached an agreement to set up a permanent working group for these issues. The parties also mentioned joint programs have already been launched, particularly in Armenia’s Biurakan observatory, according to the report. The press office said the head of Roscosmos is expected to visit Armenia in 2014 to sign the mentioned cooperation agreement.


Karabakh’s Status in Customs Union?

It is much easier to answer with a question the query on Nagorno-Karabakh’s status in the Customs Union. Russian State Duma member, CIS Institute Director Konstantin Zatulin told the aforementioned to Armenian “Is Karabakh in the single economic space with Armenia? By answering my question you will also answers your question,” he stressed. In response to the query as to whether Russian border guards may be deployed between Armenia and the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic once Armenia joins the Customs Union, Zatulin noted: “I personally do not consider this necessary. There have been no border guards between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh to this day, and there is no need for the appearance of such a border. This may cause nothing but tension, conflicts, and various disagreements. Why should we overburden our relations with such phenomena? This will give nothing,” Konstantin Zatulin maintained.


Karabakh to factually join CU after Armenia's accession: exerts
After Armenia’s official accession, the Nagorno Karabakh Republic will also be de facto joining the Russia-led Customs Union, experts predict, according to PROVED Russian analytical source. According to Rosbalt news agency editor Viktor Yadukha, after Yerevan’s integration into the CU, no customs stations will be installed between Armenia and Karabakh, which factually suggests the republic’s joining the Union. “However, no official political decisions for Karabakh’s CU accession will be passed,” he said. “Kazakhstan is planning major energy transit through Azerbaijan; Belarus expects alternative supplies of Azeri fuel, so the two countries won’t agree to NKR's accession.” Political analyst Andrey Yepifantsev agreed with the view above, also noting that Karabakh will be trading with the CU members on special terms, with NKR-made products to be sold under Made in Armenia label. Valery Korovin, director of the Moscow Center for Geopolitical Analysis believes that Armenia's accession to the CU will help resolve the Karabakh issue in Yerevan's favor. "Azerbaijan's joining the Eurasian Union may become the only way for Azerbaijan to gain access to Karabakh," the expert said. "No other possibilities there. So the issue might as well be considered resolved."

Armenia must use CU accession to get Karabakh issue off ground: expert

Armenia’s complementary policy is coming to an end, a political analyst said. “Armenia’s accession to the Russia-dominated Customs Union might be a forced, though necessary, move. However, in this situation, Nagorno Karabakh remains an open issue,” Alexander Tsinker told PanARMENIAN.Net In this context, the expert cited the recent statement of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev: "Though with reservation, Kazakhstan is ready to sign a roadmap on Armenia’s accession to the Customs Union. Kazakhstan, however, demands clarification on the issue of the CU borders in connection with the Nagorno Karabakh issue." According to Tsinker, the problem is whether Karabakh will be included in the CU sphere of activity, if not legally then at least factually. "It's no secret that the borders between Armenia and Karabakh, especially economic ones, are rather unclear." "In this situation, Armenian leadership has a unique opportunity to get the Karabakh issue off the ground. Yerevan needs to use Russia's interest in expansion of the CU borders to promote Karabakh's involvement in the economic operations of the Union. You have to start somewhere," he stressed.


Putin, Sargsyan attend ceremony of launch of Hrazdan thermal power plant unit

The Russian and Armenian Presidents, Vladimir Putin and Serzh Sargsyan, have attended a ceremony of commissioning of the fifth power unit of the Hrazdan thermal power plant. In a teleconference regime the two leaders contacted Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee Aleksei Miller who was in the plant’s territory. The company head reported to them that the fifth power unit, built with Gazprom investment, was ready for launch and said that the unit with a capacity of 40 megawatts would generate 3.3 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity.

After that the plant’s Director Karen Sargsyan said that the power unit had been put into commercial operation. According to him, the load power was 280 megawatts and electricity supply to the Armenian power grid started. Putin asked the Gazprom chief to specify the investment volume attracted in the power unit construction. Miller said that it exceeded 300 million U.S. dollars. The Russian and Armenian presidents wished success to the power plant’s employees. Prior to that, since January 2012, the Hrazdan TPP has been in pilot operation, being included in Armenia’s power grid schedule.

The decision on the construction of the fifth power unit had been taken back in the late 1970s, and the facility building work was launched in December 2989. Later, the Hrazdan-5 construction was twice suspended and finally, in 2006 the JSC ArmRosGazprom took up the project under an agreement between Armenia and Russia. Hrazdan-5 is a unique project that has put into practice a new method of electricity generation: it for the first time combined steam turbine and gas turbine technologies. ArmRosGazprom intends to patent this method.

The "United Cross" monument of Armenian-Russian nations' friendship has been opened

The “United cross” monument symbolizing the centuries-old friendship of the Armenian and Russian peoples has been unveiled in the area surrounded by Moskovyan, Nalbandyan and Isahakyan streets. The Ra President Serzh Sargsyan, the co-chairmen of the Armenian-Russian inter-governmental commission, Yerevan Mayor Taron Margaryan, and other officials, gusts and townspeople were present at the solemn opening of the sculpture.

The decision of the Mayor of Yerevan on placement of the monument was made in April, 2012. The sculpture is made of white and grey granite, its height is 4.5 meters. It represents an Armenian and a Russian women bowed their heads before the cross through which they protect the symbol of the religion of the two peoples. The honour of opening the sculpture was given to the co-chairmen of the Armenian-Russian inter-governmental commission-the RA Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan and the RF Minister of transport Maxim Sokolov.

A similar monument was placed in the center of Moscow in "Nikitski Gates" park in 1997 on the event of 850th anniversary of Moscow becoming the symbol of the Armenian and Russian peoples. The head of the group of the authors of the monument is sculptor Frid Soghoyan, the architects are Razmik and Tigran Manukyan. The monument was built under the sponsorship of Sergey Hambardzumyan and Makar Nahapetyan who live in Moscow.

Russia may designate anti-Armenian book as extremist material

Azerbaijan got another reason to be offended with Russia, and it won’t miss a chance to do so. The Central District Court of Russia’s Krasnoyarsk Krai will hold a hearing on recognition of an Azeri-published “Armenian Terrorism” book as an extremist material. As APA reported citing AzerTAc news agency, on October 3, Krasnoyarsk Prosecutor's Office was informed that the book was distributed in the district by Azeri Diaspora representatives.

 A psycholinguistic research conducted by the experts at Krasnoyarsk State Pedagogical University psycholinguistic research showed that “separate texts in the publication, its introduction, photos and related comments are biased materials aimed at suggesting that “Armenian terrorism” exists, Armenians inflict bodily harm and kill people over ethnic hatred, act to stir up national and religious enmity”. Referring to the Federal Law on Extremist Activity with the view of protecting the interests of the Russian Federation, the Prosecutor’s Office recognized the publication as an extremist material and sent a relevant judgment to the court.

 The Prosecutor’s Office asked the court to recognize the book as an extremist material, and request the Russian Justice Ministry to include the book into the list of extremist materials. The book, authored by the late Prosecutor General of Azerbaijan Ismat Gayibov and the late Director General of Azerinform (AzerTAc) Azad Sharifov, was published in Azerbaijan in 1992. Azeri media already interpreted the book’s possible recognition as extremist literature as a step negatively affecting the country’s ties with Russia.


Famous Russian TV host awarded Armenian Order of Honors

Armenia’s president Serzh Sargsyan handed Order of Honors to well-known Russian TV host and publicist Vladimir Soloviev Friday.  The order is awarded due to Soloviev’s great personal contribution to strengthening of friendship between people of Armenia and Russia, the presidential press office told ARKA.  Soloviev thanked for the high award and said he is proud of such treatment. The sides talked about Armenia-Russia allied partnership and the recent Armenia-Russia inter-regional forum in particular, according to the report.  Armenia’s Order of Honors is awarded for protection of national interests of the Republic of Armenia, for special services to the country in establishing independence and democracy and in developing friendship with Armenia.

Poll: Most in ex-Soviet states say USSR breakup harmful

After more than two decades of wars, revolutions and economic collapses, residents of states formerly part of the Soviet Union are more than twice as likely to say the split from Russia harmed their countries than benefitted them, according to Gallup poll results released Thursday.

Gallup asked more than a thousand citizens of 11 former Soviet states to reflect on the dissolution of the Soviet Union, which happened 22 years ago next week, and found a nostalgic, Russophilic streak among seven of the 11 countries it surveyed – even Ukraine, where hundreds of thousands have taken to the streets of Kiev to protest Russian President Vladimir Putin’s influence in their country.

Russians, too, appear to lament the USSR dissolution, with 55 percent saying it harmed Russia and only 19 percent reporting benefit. Analysts say they are not surprised by the poll, which might be dissonant with the prevailing American perception of communist USSR as an oppressive regime from which most people should be grateful to break free.

“Most people see more harm than good that came out of the collapse of the integrated larger state,” said Fiona Hill, a Russia specialist and Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institute. “I don’t think anyone's really bemoaning the loss of communism – no one’s saying ‘bring back the 5-year plans' – but I don’t know anyone who feels they reaped massive personal benefit from the collapse.”

The two states most skewed toward a “harmful” assessment of Soviet dissolution – Armenia and Kyrgyzstan – both lost subsidies due to the sudden breakup and were plunged into poverty, from which they have yet to recover.

“You had the massive disintegration of an integrated economic entity,” Hill said. “Those two countries were both really jolted by the collapse. They were very much propped up by Moscow.”

Conversely, the oil-producing nations of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan were the only three states to assess the breakup as mostly beneficial.

Division and disappointment

The 1991 dissolution of the USSR, which occurred after several republics had already declared their independence, was not universally popular in the Union's other republics. A March 1991 government-run referendum found that a majority of the republics overwhelmingly supported preserving the USSR, perhaps as reflected in the Gallup poll.

The poll also reveals generational gaps, whereby those too young to remember life in the USSR actually have more positive views of the breakup, possibly because young people were less affected by the societal and personal impact.

Not all splits that resulted from the breakup fell along clear ethnic lines – in many cases, ethnic groups were marginalized or isolated in pockets of new independent states. Sometimes mixed marriages were torn apart. The ethnic Kyrgyz majority and Uzbek minority, notably, have periodically clashed in Kyrgyzstan.

Many ex-Soviet citizens have also been let down by their post-Soviet rulers and indicate that hoped-for freedoms – deprived under the authoritarian USSR – have not materialized.

Tajikistan suffered under a bloody five-year civil war in the mid-1990s, in which nearly 100,000 died, but the war ended with Tajik president Emomalii Rahmon clinging to power. He still rules the authoritarian state to this day. Unsurprisingly, Tajik respondents to the Gallup poll were likely to say that “most or many” people in the country were afraid to express political views, and that they had overwhelmingly negative perceptions of the breakup.

Soviet nostalgia

The poll, conducted between June and August, is timely. Over the past couple of months, Russian efforts to turn former Soviet states eastward by drawing them into a Kremlin-led customs union have come to a head. Belarus and Kazakhstan – which was one of three states to favor the Soviet breakup in the poll – are already members of the union, which will soon include Armenia.

Russia’s Putin has been accused by Western officials of blackmailing Ukraine, which has recently accepted a cut in oil prices from Russia and a massive $15 billion debt relief package in exchange for spurning an EU trade pact.

But Putin has been met with strident opposition in several former Soviet states, most of all Ukraine. In a Thursday op-ed she wrote from prison, Yulia Tymoshenko, a jailed opposition leader – and former Ukrainian president – urged her compatriots to peacefully remove current President Viktor Yanukovich, Putin’s ally in Kiev, from power. She warned of a “new, post-Soviet empire.”

Failing to uproot Kremlin influence, Tymoshenko wrote in the Kyiv Post, “could lead to the birth of a new aggressive empire on the territory of the former Soviet Union that will distort the development of all humanity.”

More protests – though on a smaller scale – greeted Putin on his visit to the Armenian capital of Yerevan earlier this month. Protestors held signs saying, “Putin, go home” and “No to the USSR.”

But the Gallup poll paints a more complicated picture of the former Soviet states that might bolster Putin’s political overtures to the former Soviet Union – and the appeal of a customs union that restores transportation, economic and labor migration ties among states that were ripped apart in 1991, some experts say.

“Our integration project is based on equal rights and real economic interests,” Putin has said about the customs union, which is mutually exclusive from parallel EU pacts. Though he has mostly spoken in vague terms about the Eurasian Union, his emphasis on integration has resonated in places like Armenia, the most recent country to sign on.

“The poll could really help to underscore the crux of the union,” Hill told Al Jazeera. “The ability to play on nostalgia for this vast area, economically and politically, will really help.”

Russia to step up its information presence in Armenia

Russia needs to enlarge its informational presence in Armenia and step up the coverage of the Eurasian integration process, Mher Simonyan, president of Eurasian Cooperation Development Fund said today.

"The biggest Russian omission in Armenia is the absence of  information support to what is happening between Armenia and Russia, what kind of  positive dividends the Customs Union gives Armenia" ,  he said during a video conference Moscow - Yerevan on Armenia’s decision to join the Russia-led trade bloc.

In this regard, Simonyan welcomed the decision of Russian RIA Novosti state-owned news agency not to close its office in Armenia. Due to the reduction in funding in 2014, RIA Novosti decided in October to close its offices in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Moldova and stop support to partner agencies in these countries.

(On December 9, Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a decree dissolving RIA Novosti and replacing it with a conglomerate called Rossia Segodnya (Russia Today). The new organization, to be headed by Dmitry Kiselyov, would shift its focus, according to the decree, on broadcasting to foreign audiences).

Dmitry Polyansky, a Russian diplomat in charge of Moscow’s relations with former Soviet republics, said Russia, unlike many Western countries is not engaged in propaganda across former Soviet Union, while much of what the West does is brainwashing. He agreed with Simonyan that Eurasian integration –related developments are not given sufficient coverage, even in Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia.

Armenia’s decision to join the Customs Union was backed also by Armenian parliament member Artak Davtyan from the governing Republican Party of Armenia. According to him, the decision was Yerevan’s reaction to EU’s pressure to chose between Eurasian and European integrations.

According to Mher Shahgedyan, a lawmaker from Armenian Orinats Yerkir (Country of Law)  party, Armenia’s membership in the Moscow-led bloc meets ‘our  national strategic interests.’ The roadmap for Armenia’s accession to the Customs Union was approved December 24 by the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council at a meeting in Moscow.


Voskanapat: Военная неделя Армении

Последние дни принесли нам много новостей, связанных с обеспечением обороноспособности нашей страны и пополнением Вооруженных Сил новым современным вооружением.

Во время своего визита в Армению президент РФ Владимир Путин в сопровождении президента Армении Сержа Саргсяна и министра обороны республики Сейрана Оганяна посетил 102-ую российскую военную базу, которая несет боевое дежурство согласно межгосударственным договорам в рамках Объединенной системы ПВО СНГ. Президент России заслушал доклад командира военной базы полковника Андрея Рузинского (помнится, совсем недавно азпропаганда утверждала, что последний, якобы, впал в немилость после открытого предупреждения в адрес Азербайджана и даже будет «спрятан» от В.Путина – П.). Высокие гости осмотрели образцы имеющейся в распоряжении базы военной техники, которой здесь сосредоточено свыше тысячи единиц. Среди продемонстрированного современного вооружения российской группировки были замечены РСЗО «Смерч» и ЗРК 9К37М1-2 «Бук-М1-2». Причем на продемонстрированной пуско-заряжающей установке «Бук» находились одновременно зенитные управляемые ракеты двух разных типов - 9М38М1 и 9М317. Ранее данных систем на вооружении 102-й базы не было. ЗРК «Бук-М1-2» поступили в распоряжение 102-й базы в прошлом году, а РСЗО «Смерч» прибыли на базу летом нынешнего года.

Министр обороны Армении Сейран Оганян похвалил боевые качества ЗРК «Бук», а Владимир Путин поинтересовался эффективностью системы залпового огня «Смерч».

- Огромная зона поражения. Как дождь накрывает, — ответил российскому президенту первый заместитель министра обороны РФ, генерал армии Аркадий Бахин.

Напомним, что 9 октября 2013 года в интервью изданию «Красная звезда» командир 102-й военной базы полковник Андрей Рузинский заявил о том, что база является соединением постоянной готовности немедленного применения, поскольку в ее состав входят 13 основных боевых подразделений и 17 подразделений всестороннего обеспечения. Особенностью боевого состава базы являются зенитный ракетный дивизион, на вооружении которого стоит ЗРК С-300В, зенитно-ракетный дивизион, оснащенный ЗРК «Бук-М1-2», реактивная артиллерийская батарея «Смерч» и авиационная база с эскадрильей многоцелевых истребителей МиГ-29. Весь этот объем сил и средств базируется в двух десятках военных городков двух воинских гарнизонов.

Рузинский также сообщил, что авиабазу Эребуни, переданную во временное пользование российской стороне, ожидают изменения. На ее территории планируется разместить смешанный авиационный полк. Двустороннее соглашение об этом уже подписано. В обновленном виде авиабаза в Эребуни обретет совершенно иной, более разноплановый по своему практическому применению боевой состав, в частности, к имеющимся истребителям МиГ-29 добавятся боевые и военно-транспортные вертолеты. Так, еще до конца этого года эскадрилья вертолетов в Эребуни составит 18 винтокрылых машин.

Кроме того, Рузинский совершенно недвусмысленно заявил о том, что в случае принятия решения руководством Азербайджана о новой агрессии против Республики Арцах, «военная база вступит в вооруженный конфликт в соответствии с договорными обязательствами Российской Федерации в рамках Организации Договора о коллективной безопасности».

Но это отнюдь не все военные новости последних дней. 29 ноября российский «Центр анализа мировой торговли оружием» опубликовал свой пятый по счету ежегодный отчет «Статистика и анализ мировой торговли оружием», в котором, в числе прочего, приводятся некоторые подробности $100-миллионного армяно-польского контракта по модернизации армянских танков Т-72 до уровня РТ-72U.

Модернизация танков Т-72 в основном предназначается для ведения боя в условиях города и в так называемых локальных войнах. Совместное с польским сборочным предприятием «Bumar Łabędy» оборонное предприятие оборудует армянские танки силовой установкой мощностью 1000 л. с., тогда как базовая установка обеспечивает лишь 780 л. с., установит улучшенную динамическую защиту и специальные решетчатые экраны, прикрывающие кормовую часть корпуса и башни танка. Под рабочим местом механика-водителя будут закреплены дополнительные противоминные защитные пластины. На башню танка планируется установить автономные турели с дистанционным управлением, оснащенные пулеметом калибра 12,7 мм. Помимо этого машина приобретет круговую систему наблюдения, состоящую из восьми видеокамер, а также панорамный тепловизионный прицел и новую систему связи. В танк будет установлена и система кондиционирования воздуха для повышения комфорта экипажа.

Помимо этого, вышеназванный источник публикует сведения о контракте на ремонт 50 единиц БПМ-2, принадлежащих ВС Армении. Ремонт производится в России, и будет завершен до конца года, сумма контракта составляет $10 млн. Кроме того, ремонт боевой техники осуществляется и на территории самой Армении – на Чаренцаванском станкостроительном заводе, имеющем действующий контракт с российской научно-производственной корпорацией «Уралвагонзавод».

Напомним, что в мае текущего года были опубликованы сведения о наличии на вооружении Армянской армии оперативно-тактических ракетных комплексов (ОТРК) «Искандер-М» и реактивных систем залпового огня «Торнадо-Г». «Искандер-М» способен поражать цели на расстоянии в 500 километров с высочайшей точностью, а особенности траектории полёта его ракеты таковы, что сегодня ее не в состоянии сбить ни одна из существующих и даже разрабатываемых в мире систем противовоздушной обороны. Фактически в течение ближайших 10 – 15 лет ракеты ОТРК Искандер прочно зарезервировали за собой статус грозной «королевы воздуха».

Опубликованы также сведения относительно приобретения Арменией китайских реактивных комплексов залпового огня AR1A с дальностью стрельбы в 130 км, в разработке которых участвовали и предприятия военно-промышленного комплекса России. Согласно все тому же ежегодному отчету российского «Центра анализа мировой торговли оружием», Армения предположительно приобрела 6 таких установок. Сумма контракта, также предположительно, оценивается в $50 млн. Однако и в данном случае ни армянская, ни китайская стороны официально не подтвердили, но и не опровергли ни наличие данного контракта, ни его сумму, ни количество приобретенных Арменией комплексов. Известно только, что в Армении AR1A подверглись модернизации, с увеличением дальности стрельбы до 300 км. 

Ну, и напоследок самая свежая и приятная новость. На территорию Армении поступили зенитно-ракетные комплексы большой дальности нового поколения С-400.

Зенитно-ракетный комплекс С-400, который также носит название «Триумф», способен поражать все современные виды тактической и стратегической авиации и постановщиков помех типа «Авакс», КР (в том числе выполненных с применением технологии «Stealth») на расстоянии до 400 км, а также баллистических ракет с дальностью пуска до 3500 км и скоростями полета до 5 тыс. м/с и других современных и перспективных средств воздушного нападения. Каждая установка может одновременно уничтожить до 36 целей, наведя на них 72 ракеты. ЗРК обнаруживает их на дальности до 600 км. Согласно оценке западных экспертов, С-400 по многим боевым характеристикам превосходит американский «Пэтриот».

В состав ЗРС «Триумф» входят многофункциональная трехкоординатная помехозащищенная РЛС с дальностью обнаружения целей около 600 км, командный пункт ЗРС с вычислительным комплексом серии «Эльбрус», пусковые установки, зенитные ракеты, а также новые ракеты дальностью действия до 400 км для поражения воздушных целей за пределами зоны видимости наземных станций наведения.

В России первый дивизион, оснащенный подобными комплексами, заступил на боевое дежурство в Подмосковье в августе 2007 года.


Армянские организации России объединяются

30 ноября 2013 года в Москве состоялось совещание Российско-Армянских диаспориальных организаций России. На совещании руководители и представители организаций активно обсуждали проблемы, которые не позволяют развивать взаимодействие и информационное обеспечение между ними. Ввиду укрепления отношений между Российской Федерацией и Республикой Армения, а также необходимость усиления армянской диаспоры России и Москвы, было принято решение о создании Координационного Совета Российско-Армянских организаций (КСРАО).Целью создания Координационного Совета является планирование, организация, информационное обеспечение и совместное выполнение поставленных Советом задач, а также постепенное сближение и усиление армянской диаспоры России.

В Координационный Совет вошли: HAYASA, Представительство Нагорно-Карабахской Республики (Республики Арцах) в РФ, ЕРКРАПА, РОО «Центр поддержки Русско-Армянских стратегических и общественных инициатив», Сообщество Молодых Профессионалов - СИВАМ, Джавахкская диаспора России, Амшенская диаспора России, Международная организация развития армянской классической музыки, Культурно-просветительское общество "АРАРАТ", Национальный Конгресс западных армян, Автономная некоммерческая организация «Детское физкультурно-образовательное объединение «Лидер», Интернет портал Armenia-online и ArmBook.

Во избежание создания бюрократических структур для руководства Координационного Совета была учреждена только должность ответственного секретаря. Он является основным лицом, которое координирует работу Координационного Совета. Каждая организация, вошедшая в состав Координационного Совета, по очереди выдвигает кандидатуру (из числа своих представителей) на должность ответственного секретаря Координационного Совета, сроком 1 месяц. Первым ответственным секретарем Координационного Совета, решением участников совещания, выбран представитель РОО «Центр поддержки Русско-Армянских стратегических и общественных инициатив» Арам Хачатрян.


Путин в Армении увидел чудо:

Аркадий Дубнов, спецкор "Московских новостей", для РИА Новости.

Из диалога между российским верховным главнокомандующим и командующим 102-й российской военной базой в Армении армяне узнали, почему лучше быть ближе к Москве, чем к Брюсселю. Но начнем с чуда. Оно явилось прибывшему в Армению с государственным визитом Владимиру Путину прямо на военной базе. Он даже к этому чуду прикоснулся.

Дело было так. Отец Андрей Вац во время посещения Путиным храма святой Александры Великомученицы, супруги императора Александра Второго, подвел гостя к Чудотворной иконе, которую спасли в одном из разрушенных землетрясением православных храмов Армении. По словам батюшки, икона была вся черная, когда ее нашли, лики святых невозможно было различить. "Эта икона обновилась сама за три года. Она становится все более колоритной", – рассказал священник. Путин зажег свечу и приложился к иконе. На прощание отец Андрей подарил российскому президенту две иконы, которые были написаны рукой военнослужащих, проходивших на военной базе срочную службу: образ епископа Армянского Григория и образ апостола Андрея Первозванного.

Российские "Смерчи" в Армении ценят высоко

Однако явление Путину чуда случилось не раньше, чем он выслушал доклад командующего 102 РВБ полковника Рузинского. Это тот самый Андрей Рузинский, имя которого теперь хорошо известно в Азербайджане.

Полковник прославился после своего пространного интервью газете "Красная звезда" в октябре нынешнего года, где он по-военному четко и ясно объяснил одну из задач вверенного ему подразделения: "В случае принятия решения руководством Азербайджана по восстановлению юрисдикции над Нагорным Карабахом силовым путем военная база может вступить в вооруженный конфликт в соответствии с договорными обязательствами Российской Федерации в рамках Организации Договора о коллективной безопасности".

В Москве тогда никак не комментировали заявление российского военного, опубликованное в печатном органе российского Минобороны, даже после резкого демарша азербайджанской стороны. Теперь понятно, почему: российскому главкомверху сначала необходимо было лично убедиться в том, что решение задачи, сформулированной командующим 102-й РВБ, базе под силу. Доклад, сделанный ему полковником Рузинским, очевидно, преследовал эту цель и был исчерпывающим. Путин узнал, что в состав базы входят мотострелковые, танковые, артиллерийские подразделения и подразделения всестороннего обеспечения, на вооружении которых состоят боевые машины пехоты БМП-2, танки Т-72Б, зенитно-ракетные комплексы "Бук М1-2", "Стрела-10", реактивная система залпового огня "Смерч", самоходные артиллерийские установки "Гвоздика" и другая современная военная техника. Командующий отдельно выделил "особенность боевой составляющей" базы – "наличие подразделения противовоздушной обороны (ПВО), способного обнаружить и поражать воздушные средства нападения противника во всех заданных высотах".

По всей видимости, российский президент был удовлетворен этим докладом, поскольку ограничился единственным (по крайней мере, ставшим нам известным) вопросом, который он задал полковнику: "Как обстановка?".

"Обстановка стабильная, гостеприимная", – услышал он в ответ.

Москва избегает "контрпродуктивных" заявлений

Можно не сомневаться, это была правда, в Армении очень хорошо относятся к российским военным, прекрасно понимая, что они являются гарантом безопасности страны в случае… ну, дальше можно снова цитировать полковника Рузинского. Поэтому, когда в Азербайджане иронизируют по поводу армянского гостеприимства, демонстрируемого во время визита Путина, надо к этому относиться с пониманием. Ну да, запретили власти Гюмри, где расположена 102-я РВБ, проводить там похоронные процессии 2 декабря, когда в городе приземлился лайнер президента России… Наверное, власти перестраховались, испугавшись свалившейся на них ответственности: а вдруг процессия не ограничится похоронами и продемонстрирует антипутинские настроения? Случилось же такое в Ереване в тот же день, где около полутысячи протестующих выразили свое довольно однозначное отношение к визиту российского президента. Полиция, правда, была готова к акции и, судя по видео, весьма жестко пресекла ее. Главе российского государства, похоже, не довелось увидеть, что не все армяне единодушно и позитивно относятся к нему.

Возвращаясь же к посещению Владимиром Путиным российской военной базы, необходимо отметить, что ему удалось – во всяком случае, на сегодняшний день – избежать откровенно резкой реакции официального Баку на это мероприятие.

Во-первых, он отказался от военной по характеру риторики, комментируя возможную эскалацию боевых действий в регионе. "Гипотетически говорить о том, что бы мы делали, если начнется война (из-за Нагорного Карабаха) – это контрпродуктивно", – сказал Путин, отвечая на вопрос по итогам переговоров с Сержем Саргсяном. "Хотелось бы, чтобы проблемы региона решались не с помощью оружия, а с помощью дипломатии, чтобы принимаемые решения были приемлемыми для всех сторон", – сказал он, встречаясь с президентом Армении. Во-вторых, сам Саргсян подтвердил миролюбивые намерения Еревана.

Чем отличается Армения от Киргизии

Все изложенные выше результаты путинского визита в Армению, конечно, исключительно важны для понимания того места, что занимает Россия в глазах армян. Но они все же носят скорее ритуальный характер: известное и ранее об российско-армянских отношениях было подтверждено и отчасти усилено. Все прочее было новым и принципиально поворотным. Начнем с того, что визит Путина выглядел демонстрацией решимости Москвы материально "расплатиться" с Ереваном за его готовность присоединиться к Таможенному союзу и отказаться от подписания соглашения об ассоциации с Евросоюзом.

Не случайно государственный визит президента России был совершен буквально через пару дней после провала саммита "Восточного партнерства" в Вильнюсе, где Серж Саргсян хоть и присутствовал, но ограничился лишь подписанием ничего не значащего заявления.

В Ереване относятся к смене курса Армении прагматично, видя в этом цену сохранения своей безопасности на фоне латентного военного конфликта с Азербайджаном. Там считают, что российское давление на Армению с целью вынудить ее повернуть в сторону сотрудничества с Таможенным союзом проявилось в ходе визита Путина в Азербайджан в августе этого года и обещанных им поставок российского оружия. Как заметил армянский аналитик Виген Акопян, "визит Путина в Азербайджан был последней каплей, которой Армении дали понять, что надо определяться". После чего последовал визит Саргсяна в Москву 3 сентября, где было заявлено о намерении Армении вступить в ТС. Таким образом, в Ереване были готовы к тем "подаркам", которые в ответ на это привезет Владимир Путин. Теперь основная их часть известна. Во-первых, Россия и Армения подписали межправительственное соглашение об отмене экспортных пошлин на поставки в Армению газа, нефтепродуктов и необработанных алмазов. Стоимость этих преференций не указывается, но можно предположить, что она исчисляется, по минимальным оценкам, десятками миллионов долларов ежегодно, изъятых из российского бюджета.

Теперь стоимость российского газа, поставляемого в Армению, составит 189 долларов за тысячу кубометров – до этого, с учетом 30-процентной экспортной пошлины, она составляла 270 долларов. Еревану при этом известно, что Киев до сих пор с учетом всех скидок платил больше 400 долларов за тот же объем. Кроме того, есть вероятность, что цена на российский газ для Армении может стать еще ниже, если российский "Газпром", владеющий сегодня 80 процентами "АрмРосгазпрома", выкупит в ближайшее время остальные 20 процентов его акций.

Выражением благодарности Еревана в ответ на эти новости стало обещание президента Саргсяна ратифицировать уже на этой неделе подписанный летом договор о развитии военно-технического сотрудничества, "который открывает широкие возможности для приобретения вооружений и военной техники в России по внутренним ценам" (такие возможности, как известно, Россия предоставляет всем своим союзникам по ОДКБ).

Очевидно, что армянский президент, как и все остальные лидеры стран ОДКБ, абсолютно уверены в лояльности своих парламентов. Теперь, после того, как Путин привез, как он выразился, "подушку безопасности" для Армении, чтобы она "почувствовала свою силу", осталось дождаться 19 декабря, когда на заседании Высшего Евразийского экономического совета в Москве будет утверждена "дорожная карта" присоединения Армении к Таможенному союзу.

Таким образом, Армения вступит в ТС уже в будущем году, раньше, чем готова будет сделать это Киргизия, подавшая заявку еще в прошлом году. В Бишкеке теперь тормозят этот процесс, не без оснований считая, что также имеют право на значительные привилегии, и ожидая от России формирования фонда поддержки вступления Киргизии в ТС, в котором должно быть не менее 200 миллионов долларов. Однако Киргизия не является членом "Восточного партнерства", и задачи делать ей срочные предложения, от которых нельзя отказаться, не было…

Мнение автора может не совпадать с позицией редакции

 Georgia Today: Putin Posturing in Yerevan Sparks Georgian Concern,h=425,pd=1,w=620/vladimir-putin-serge-sarkisian.jpg

The visit of the Russian President to Armenia turned into a very important event. Despite the fact that it was somewhat overshadowed by Ukraine’s revolutionary tempest, Vladimer Putin’s statement made in Yerevan can be considered one of the major geopolitical messages of the year. It was particularly notable as it came just days after the Vilnius summit when the Euro-integration processes in the South Caucasus started to slowdown.

“As for the South Caucasus, we never planned to leave the region. Russia’s positions here will be strengthened,” this is the promise Putin made to his Armenian counterpart in Yerevan.

Putin issued a similar statement before, during the August war five years ago, “For centuries Russia has been playing a positive and stabilizing role in the Caucasus. Russia was the guarantor of security, development, cooperation, prosperity and progress in the region. This is how it was in the past and this is how it will be in the future”.

There is almost nothing new in the statements of the then prime minister and the current president of Russia. President Putin is openly and categorically telling everyone that Russia will not leave, regardless of the region’s states’ desires.

Taking into consideration the fact that Armenia has already rejected its European opportunity and is joining the Customs Union and Azerbaijan is not interested in the tax free trade relations with Europe, Georgia and its European allies are clearly the intended recipients of Putin’s message.

President Putin arrived in Yerevan with Armenia’s Russian influence abundantly clear. Gazprom built the 480 megawatt thermo electric power station close to the Russian military base of Gyumri, costing Russia almost $350 million. Armenia also proved to be the first country to which Russia will provide gas at their internal tariff, i.e. 1 cubic meter for $189. Moscow also abolished the 35 per cent customs tariff on oil products for Armenia and will provide military vehicles and equipment to its South Caucasian ally at internal Russian prices.

According to President Putin, he knows the value of these costs. “Although the Russian budget will not receive a solid amount of income, it is necessary for the normal functioning of Armenia’s economy so that Armenia joins the Customs Union in a quick and smooth manner,” the Russian President said before leaving Yerevan.

It appears that this friendship with Yerevan and President Serzh Sargsyan’s agreement to join the Customs Union came at a considerable cost for Russia. Yerevan did not expect such gifts.

At the beginning of 2013, things were different and Yerevan had other priorities: during the whole period when Moscow tried to put pressure on Yerevan, the latter officially only asked for the opening of communication lines between Armenia and Russia in exchange for Armenia’s entrance into the Customs Union; in particular, restoration of the railway route to carry Armenian cargo to and from Russia, and vice versa.

This issue arose for Armenia’s Security Council Secretary Artur Baghdasaryan when at the beginning of the year he started speaking about the restoration of the railway route between Georgia and Russia. The Vilnius summit was a certain deadline when it should have become clear through which tools Moscow would manage to link Armenia to the Customs Union.

So far this Gordian knot remains unsolved for Armenia. The Kremlin’s strategic partner in the South Caucasus remains in a railway blockade: the railway lines of Azerbaijan and Georgia are blocked, not to mention Turkey with whom Armenia still has no diplomatic relations. Thus, Yerevan rejected Europe but received only a promise in return. Putin has not specified how and through which ways Moscow should provide cheap tanks and cheap petrol to Yerevan.

President Putin’s visit to Armenia proved once again that the deadline of the Vilnius summit put serious pressure on Russia to act in the post-Soviet space. Accordingly, it may try to break through in a place where it traditionally had its biggest success during the entire post-Soviet period, Georgia; especially when the railway route facilitating Armenia’s role in the Customs Union, according to the Russian plan, should cross Georgia.


EurasiaNet: Putin's Armenia Visit Alarms Azerbaijan

Armenians may have been troubled by Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to their country, as it seemed to be an exhibition of Russia's tightening grip on Yerevan's foreign policy. But in Azerbaijan, the visit occasioned a different sort of fear: that Putin was confirming Russia's military support for Armenia in a potential conflict with Azerbaijan over the disputed territory of Nagorno Karabakh.

One military expert in Baku, Uzeyir Cafarov, said that Putin's support for Armenia would increase the risk of conflict. "We must be extra careful regarding the situation on the front line in January and February. It is possible that local clashes will take place on the front line. Russia continues to play double games. We must not give in to this and must bring into Russia's attention that its position on the Karabakh conflict is biased," Cafarov told the newspaper Azadliq, according to a BBC Monitoring report.

And member of parliament Zahid Oruc told (also via BBC Monitoring), "With this visit and by increasing the number of Russian troops in Armenia, Russia is stimulating the regional arms race and pushes others to this. This is a threat to the lasting peace in the region."

Baku's concern about the Kremlin's intentions was piqued earlier this fall when the commander of the main Russian base in Armenia told an official Defense Mininstry newspaper that Russia "may join in the armed conflict" against Azerbaijan if Baku decides to try to take back Karabakh by force. Moscow's silence in the face of strong diplomatic objections by Baku raised the question of whether the Kremlin really would take such an aggressive position against Azerbaijan. An interesting piece by Arkady Dubnov in RIA Novosti argues that Putin's visit to Armenia was in part intended for him to get a personal briefing on whether or not the Russian forces in Armenia were actually capable of carrying out that mission. Dubnov writes:
Now it is known why [Moscow has been silent on that question]: the Russian commander-in-chief needed first to be personally convinced that the implementation of the tasks formulated by the commander of the 102nd base were in the base's power. The report, given to him by Colonel Ruzinsky [the base commander], evidently took on this task and was exhaustive. The commander especially highlighted the features of the military component of the base -- "the presence of air defense systems, capable of detecting and defeating air means of attack at all heights." By all appearances, the Russian president was convinced by the report...
Dubnov also suggests that Russia's recent military overtures toward Azerbaijan were likely motivated at least in part by a desire to pressure Yerevan into joining the Customs Union and stop integration with the European Union. And in that context, this visit to Yerevan was a message that "yes, we're on your side." However, when Putin was asked about this in a press conference after his meeting with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, he dodged the question. Asked by a journalist what Russia would do in the event that "Azerbaijan’s militaristic statements were to be realised," Putin replied:
If you continue to repeat this aloud, then the conditions for achieving a peaceful settlement will be compromised, and other aspects of the problem will become preponderant.... In my opinion, to talk hypothetically about what we would do if a war were to break out is totally counterproductive. It would look as if we are preparing for war, and we must, as the President of Armenia already said, ensure that all sensitive issues are resolved exclusively by political and diplomatic means. We shall continue to work towards this.

Business Insider: The Huge Scale Of Vladimir Putin's Eurasian Plan
The ongoing political crisis in Ukraine has brought a renewed attention to the Eurasian Union, Vladimir Putin’s grand dream of a political and economic union that would bridge the gap between Europe and Asia.

The protests in Kiev only began last month when President Viktor Yanukovych made an unexpected u-turn on a proposal that would have established free trade and furthered political cooperation between Ukraine and the European Union, an agreement that was seen as a possible precursor to EU membership. Instead, Yanukovych began to move toward an agreement with the Russian-directed Eurasian Customs Union (ECU), which includes Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan at present.

The ECU is seen as a precursor to the broader Eurasian Union, a project close to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s heart, which some say he sees as essential to his legacy. It’s his plan not only to give Russia and allies a way to compete with economic giants such as the United States, China, and the EU, but also to put Russia firmly at the center of regional power. To put this all in context, let’s look at a map of the European Union versus the Eurasian Customs Union as they stand right now:
Eurasian union
  • Red shows countries that are currently part of the Eurasian Commission — Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan.
  • Pink shows the countries that are considered candidates to join the Eurasian Union — Armenia, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan.
  • Dark blue shows the 28 member states of the EU, including almost all of western Europe and much of the eastern side of the continent.
  • Light blue shows the states that are considered potential EU member states. This includes recognised candidates (Iceland, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Turkey) and others that have either not applied yet or not had their applications recognised (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo).
  • Green shows states that seem to have a choice between the European Union and the Eurasian Union. Along with Ukraine, we have Georgia, the former Soviet republic that has plans to join the EU but has been listed as a potential member of the Eurasian Union by Russian Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev.
As you can see the big red blob that represents the ECU already has a clear size advantage over the EU, and it covers a natural resource rich land in Russia and Kazakhstan. The three nations currently involved have a combined population of around 165 million people and a $US2.3 trillion GDP. Add in Ukraine and Georgia and you would get around 205 million people and $US2.5 trillion GDP.

Those are big numbers, but they still pale in comparison to the EU, which has more than 500 million inhabitants and a GDP of more than $US16 trillion. China has a population of 1.3 billion and a GDP of $US8.2 trillion, and the USA has a 313 million population and a GDP of almost $US16 tillion.

The ultimate hope for the Eurasian Union is that countries like Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan will join. More fantastical plans exist too: One Russian politician (a member of the Putin-linked United Russia party) has floated the idea of eventually broadening the union to include historical allies such as Mongolia and Finland, or even Cuba and Venezuela.

Still, it’s a risky venture for Putin — the immigration implications may be huge for Russia, a country that already deals with a lot of ethnic strife, and you have to question the sanity of any nation entering an economic partnership with Belarus, Europe’s last dictatorship and poorest country.

Putin is a big idea kind of guy, however, and he may be more interested in the symbolism than the reality of his plan. The Russian president has publicly said that the fall of the U.S.S.R. was a “genuine tragedy” and the “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century.” Putin wasn’t talking about Communism here, he was talking about Russia losing its grand geopolitical position as the center of an empire.

The Eurasian Union is his plan to regain that position. It may be a long shot, but right now its all he’s got.


Vladimir Putin signs free trade agreements with Abkhazia and South Ossetia

Russia continues to erase trade borders with partially recognized republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Vladimir Putin signed free trade agreements with the authorities of the two countries. Experts argue heatedly whether the move opens new economic opportunities for the three parties and what to expect from Georgia and members of the Customs Union. 

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed agreements on free trade with the governments of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The agreements embrace all commodity groups, except sugar, alcohol, tobacco and (partially) diesel fuel and gasoline. The maximum volume of fuel is set for Abkhazia at 35,000 tons per year, and for South Ossetia - 50,000 tons. Russian experts had mixed reactions to the news, wondering whether these agreements are indeed beneficial to the three parties.

"The benefits are obvious for Abkhazia and South Ossetia," the head of the Department for Caucasus at the CIS Institute, Mikhail Alexandrov told Pravda.Ru. Lower duties mean larger exports to Russia, especially agricultural products. Russia will receive more profitable business terms. Russia has canceled export duties on oil products for Abkhazia and South Ossetia, that will cut the price on these products on the domestic market. Naturally, this will be an incentive to develop their economies and improve the living standards of the citizens of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, many of whom are Russian citizens as well. Therefore, this is an absolutely correct and timely measure that everybody needs."

However, we can not ignore the fact that Abkhazians and Ossetians will lose profits, which they previously received from the duties on imports of goods from Russia. However, according to the head of the analytical bureau Alte et Certe, Andrei Epifantsev, the republics will not suffer great losses, and the trade agreement will not affect the Russian Federation either. 

"The economic issue is not so advantageous to these republics, it is not so fundamental, because somehow these republics are financed by the budget of the Russian Federation," Epifantsev said in an interview with Pravda.Ru. "In South Ossetia, it is a lot, it is based nearly entirely on the budget of the Russian Federation. In Abkhazia, the figure is around 60-70 per cent in direct enumeration, plus about 30 per cent they earn on Russia, on tourists and so on. But the way of how to get this money is not so important. This money can either be sent under a federal assistance programs, or it can be counted to calculate that the money was obtained from the fact that one did not have to pay  the customs duty. It does not matter much, the most important thing for the Russian authorities now is that Russia will support these republics in financial terms."

One should not forget Russia's relations with Georgia that worsened against the background of Russia's recognition of the sovereignty of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. After 2008, business ties between the two countries were suspended, Georgian goods were allowed to return to the Russian market only a short while ago. Russian customers can buy Georgian wine, citrus fruit and famous Borjomi water now again. Will Russia's another move towards the republics, whose independence is a thorn in the side for Georgia, affect the relations between Russia and Georgia again?

"Georgia has already expressed its dissatisfaction with the new state of affairs. But Georgia has to be realistic. Russia recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The fact that Russia lifts duties neither worsens nor improves the situation," Mikhail Alexandrov said. "Georgia should come to terms with reality. It should build relations with Russia regardless of the factor of Abkhazia and South Ossetia," he added.

According to the representative of the Institute of CIS Countries, the situation must take a new turn now: the improvement of relations with Russia, on the contrary, should contribute to finding a solution to the Abkhaz and South Ossetian issue. The only thing that pushes back the solution to this issue is the persistence of Georgia "in its negative actions," while it could take a friendly look at Russia and consider an opportunity to join the Customs Union, and then all these barriers could be eliminated naturally.

However, one can only fantasize about the positive future of relations between the two countries. Georgian Deputy Foreign Minister David Zankaliani has recently said that the above-mentioned agreements were "illegal and contradictory to the principle of the WTO."

Russian experts were surprised to see such a reaction from Georgia. They believe that statements from Tbilisi should not lead to negative actions, since the Georgians are well aware of Russia's position with respect to both Abkhazia and South Ossetia. This, however, did not stop the two countries from doing something to improve their cooperation.

"Any of Georgia's plans to restore its jurisdiction over the republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia may materialize only if Georgians agree with Abkhazians and Ossetians. And if that happens, Russia will accept that. Both Putin and Medvedev repeatedly voiced this position. In this respect, Russia, by the way, constantly makes steps that promote economic and political development of these republics. These steps purposefully cause protests on the part of the Georgian authorities. These protests say that they have no other methods - they can do nothing else but say that they do not like the situation. But in practical terms, these steps do not lead to specific decisions to cause damage to our relations. Georgia has already tasted the benefits from resuming economic relations, and Georgia will not risk them by taking political steps against Russia." 

To crown it all, the specialist said, most Georgians are already disappointed with the United States. The people of Georgia would like to have Russia back, Epifantsev suggested. However, we can only guess what the Georgians really think of Russia. Tbilisi responds to Russia's moves towards South Ossetia and Abkhazia like a bull to a red rag. It is too early to speak about the membership of the two republics in the Customs Union.

"Currently, this seems impossible, because it will be a step that will prevent the further development of the Customs Union. The countries that can theoretically enter the Customs Union have their own conflicts. If Russia tries to bring these countries to the Customs Union, it may complicate the relations with other countries. For example, if we are going to take Abkhazia and South Ossetia to the CU, Russia will then raise the issue of Karabakh. Armenia will raise the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh, and then Kazakhstan will have to decide what to do next, as the country has serious plans to continue pumping oil through the territory of Azerbaijan. Kazakhstan is strongly against it. It will raise many questions for Belarus, as Azerbaijan purchases arms from Belarus. What will Armenia have to do? If Armenia favors the entry of Abkhazia and South Ossetia into the CU, Georgia will pull the plug immediately, and Russia's border on Armenia goes only on Georgia," Epifantsev said. 

Thus, according to the analyst, there is no point in the integration of partially recognized republics into the Customs Union. Most importantly, there is no danger that Georgia may invade these republics. Yet, Taiwan, for example, serves as an APEC member together with China, because Taiwan is considered as an independent economic territory rather than an independent state here. The same option can be used in relation to Abkhazia and South Ossetia, experts believe.

At this point, it is obvious that neither Russia nor Georgia are ready to weaken their positions despite some improvement in trade relations.

 After Losing Iceland, Armenia, EU Just Lost Ukraine As Well

The EU has run a nice propaganda war which included giving US made GMO sandwiches to Ukrainian opposition and promises of major ‘profits’ once it entered the EU. But it was all for nothing as Ukraine signed a major contract in Moscow earlier today, dealing a significant blow to Washington who uses any sort of protest to put more rockets in Europe and Brussels who hoped to expand its territory with a nice little chunk called “Ukraine”.

After stringing along Russia, the EU and the Ukrainian people, President Viktor Yanukovich has inked an agreement worth $15 billion in securities and from January 1, can start buying Russian gas for $268 instead of $400 per 100 cubic meters. The Russian government will essentially buy $15 billion in Ukrainian debt by buying Ukrainian securities using money from Russia’s Welfare Fund, President Vladimir Putin announced Tuesday at a meeting with Yanukovich in Moscow.

“For the purpose of supporting the Ukrainian budget the Russian government has made a decision to invest part of the National Welfare Fund, to the tune of $15 billion, in Ukrainian government securities,” Putin said. Russia will invest roughly 17 percent of its $88 billion National Welfare Fund, which, together with Russia’s Sovereign Wealth Fund is used as a sort of buffer for the country’s oil-dependent budget.

Ukraine and Russia need to learn lessons and avoid mistakes in future bilateral cooperation, Yanukovich said. “We have this need to draw lessons for the future and not to repeat such mistakes,” Yanukovich said at the conclusion of the bilateral talks held in Moscow on Tuesday.

Ukraine “is our fully-fledged strategic partner beyond any doubt,” Putin said at the meeting, where the two presidents signed 14 separate agreements on space, engineering, defense and trade. “We did not talk about Ukraine joining the Customs Union at all,” Putin said at the end of the nearly 4-hour long meetings, in an apparent effort to calm opposition protesters in Kiev awaiting news of the two presidents’ talks.

European officials will meet Thursday to discuss Ukrainian trade and a Russia-EU summit is scheduled for late January. EU enlargement chief Stefan Fuele tweeted on Monday that Ukraine’s back and forth trade negotiations have “no grounds in reality,” a signal that the door Western diplomats had insisted remained wide open, had actually, been firmly shut.

Yanukovich backed out of EU talks just before last month’s Vilnius conference, where Ukraine was expected to sign an Association Agreement that would have set it on a path toward eventual integration with the EU.