By Asim Suleymanov
Judging by the current Armenian media agenda some Armenian officials are increasingly calling for Armenia’s withdrawal from the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).
Charmed by the signing of the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership agreement, the opposition in Armenia seeks to strengthen its positions, emphasizing the need to remove all obstacles on the way to achieving the dream.
They see bright future in integration with Europe and approval of visa-free regime. And probably then dreadful unemployment figures and Karabakh conflict will be overcome somehow. The only thing they need is to get rid of a “spare tire” – membership in the EAEU. At least in Yereven people really think so.
Meanwhile, even in Europe the rationality of signing the Armenian-European agreement at the Eastern Partnership summit is questioned. For instance, a senior fellow at the think tank Atlantic Council, Anders Aslund writes about the meaninglessness of this agreement as the main news item from this summit.
For us the following is important: in case of Armenian withdrawal from the EAEU, Azerbaijan only wins. And this is the only thing that stops Armenia from making such a decision. The market of the CIS and the countries of the EAEU is vitally important for the half-hearted Armenian economy. As for Azerbaijan it will give another impetus to the development of partnership relations with the members of the Union, growth of export and strengthening the non-oil sector of the economy.
Primarily, the Azerbaijan’s membership in the Eurasian Economic Union gives opportunities for the necessary economic diversification.
And when Iran’s government shows its readiness to strengthen cooperation with the EAEU, the ruling Republican Party claims that for Armenia it’s a good chance to develop economic relations with its neighbor. And Armenian officials play poker and don’t admit that Tehran is interested in Yerevan only due to its participation in this structure.
The identical scheme, of course, will work with Azerbaijan. And our country is no less, or even more concerned with the building up cooperation with Iran. Meanwhile, in Baku, the officials decide on the format of cooperation with the EAEU, we are watching how Armenia is approaching to be left with nothing.