Tsarukian Signals Commitment to Putin’s Eurasian Union Plan

One of Armenia’s wealthiest businessman and leader of “Bargavach Hayastan” (Prosperous Armenia) party Gagik Tsarukian has backed the initiative of his party’s youth wing to hold the First Eurasian Youth Conference in the Armenian resort town of Tsakhadzor on August 22-27.

According to the official press-release disseminated by the Prosperous Armenia party, the conference will host delegations from 14 countries to discuss the idea of establishing a Eurasian Union. A special declaration will be signed at the end of the conference.

The Eurasian Union (EAU) is a proposed economic and political union of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan and other Eurasian countries, in particular the post-Soviet states.

The idea, based on the European Union’s integration, was brought to attention in October 2011 by the Prime Minister of Russia, Vladimir Putin. On 18 November 2011, the presidents of Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia signed an agreement, setting a target of establishing the Eurasian Union by 2015. The agreement included the roadmap for the future integration and established the Eurasian Commission (modeled on the European Commission) and the Eurasian Economic Space, which started work on 1 January 2012.

Armenia’s official position on the EAU has been cautious so far. As RFE/RL puts it: “The absence of common borders has been the main declared reason for Armenia’s refusal so far to join the customs arrangement which Putin hopes would form the backbone of a future Russian-led “Eurasian Union” of former Soviet republics. Top Russian officials have actively promoted the would-be union during recent visits to Yerevan, fueling speculation that the Sarkisian government is under growing pressure to embrace the idea.”

Gagik Tsarukian’s “Prosperous Armenia” party has said in the past, that it supports, in principle, Armenia’s accession to Eurasian Union. “Prosperous Armenia” is the second most influential party in the Armenian parliament which is posing as a competitor to the ruling Republican party. With increasingly frank pro-EAU declarations (read pro-Russian, pro-Putin), Tsarukian might be looking at Russia’s support strengthening its foothold in the Armenian politics and even directly challenging incumbent president, Republican party leader Serzh Sargsian in the upcoming elections due February 2013.

PS: For the record – I kind of hate the idea of going back to the USSR, which the Eurasian Union is sure to become if Putin is to have his ways with Russia throwing around petrodollars and the gas-stick. No, thank you very much! I’d rather stay independent, even if shaky and dependent on Russia as it is now.

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11 thoughts on “Tsarukian Signals Commitment to Putin’s Eurasian Union Plan

      1. The myth that BHK is an opposition is dispelled.

        Of course, it is now clear that there is no political force in Armenia that is against the thought of Armenia as a Russian gubernia.

        1. Well, I disagree. There are a couple of forces which are known to be against “the thought of Armenia as a Russian gubernia.” It includes Dashnaktsutyun, HAK, “Free Democrats,” “Hanrapetutyun” among others.

          The question is, are these forces strong enough to prevent what seems to be the inevitable…

        2. The choice of the word “force” was on purpose. The organizations you list are not a force, in Armenia a force is something that controls resources. As such, those are HHK and BHK.

          When you look at the situation realistically, Armenia does not have the capacity to provide economic well being to its population — it has no resources to add value that could be competitive in the global economy. There is no research and development and innovation, there is no capacity for high-tech manufacturing, there is no resource for international services, etc.

          So far the only solution has been to export labor in form of immigration. But as time goes by, those immigrants become residents of their respective countries and move their families to live with them. This has been evidenced by the dwindling money transfers back home.

          The other potential solution is to export the whole country where Armenia herself becomes an immigrant in Russia, i.e. a Russian province ready to be exploited for cheap.

  1. I know this is a short blog post but if you’re going to make some hyperbole about an economic zone being the USSR, I think a little more context and support is necessary. Economic diversification is definitely a priority in Moscow and thus it seems that Russia first and foremost is looking to make it’s neighbors more receptive as markets for its goods as it works on this. Sure, there is always at least some element of expanding political influence in CIS countries but the CSTO, being a Russian led military alliance, fills much of that role already. It wouldn’t be in Russia’s interest to have a poor, unprosperous Armenia. In fact, a developed neighbor nation that has historical ties to Russia and Russians would only add to the security of the RF.

    1. Maz, no colonial power wants its subordinate countries be as prosperous as themselves. This is not a partnership, it’s a superior-subordinate relationship. You cannot name a single nation that has benefited from being a Russian colony or underling. Most of them realize it, some live in a Stockholm Syndrome like delusion.

      1. Once again, nothing by hyperbole based on sentiment and doesn’t address any of the points above in any meaningful way. The jump in logic between a trade zone like the Eurasian union and some sort of “colonizing” force is a quantum leap. The CSTO is already a Russian lead military alliance and Armenia, as well as many other states, happily participate in it. Poor neighbors are unstable neighbors, no country whether a great power like Russia or not, would wish that on its neighbor purely out of self-interest. Now, there’s plenty of imperial policy going on in the Caucusus and the MENA region but it isn’t Russia that’s the main player, is it?

        1. Maz, I could argue otherwise. The banking industry, communications, mining and energy are sectors in the Armenian economy dominated by Russian firms. Armenian firms seem to only control the production of tzirani chir.

          1. Doesn’t Armenia have six of it’s own banks? I guess 5 if you count the HSBC (70% owned by HSBC, 30% by Armenian Diaspora business people). Not bad for a nation of this size. It would not be surprising if the statistics show that more Russian banks operate in Armenia but even some brief details would be good to contextualize such profound statements. Which once again brings us to the question of why would Russia (or any other country) extend its business reach as far into Armenia as you say if the goal was to keep its population too poor to buy its goods and services? It seems we would all like to see Armenians control more of the country’s industries but the boogyman of Russian domination is some US State Dept/Jamestown Foundation nonsense that’s turned the reality of who is actually exploiting the world completely on its head.

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