Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation to Armenia Ivan Volinkin, commenting on the Armenian-Chinese military cooperation, mentioned also the draft resolution on exit of Armenia from EAEU submitted to the National Assembly by Elq alliance.
In the Ambassador’s opinion the majority of Armenians do not want Armenia to exit from the EAEU because the majority of citizens sees obvious advantages of Eurasian integration.
The obvious “advantages” of EAEU
Armenia has been a member state to EAEU for 3 years; during those years GDP of the country decreased by 8%, international reserves decreased by 40%, state debt grew by 10%, and the employment rate by 13%. Moreover, in the current year the net inflow of investments from the Russian Federation continued to decrease.
Membership of Armenia to EAEU was justified by the country’s leadership with mostly security reasons pointing to the Artsakh issue. The best “litmus paper” for the latter was the April war. At that time anti-Armenian policy implemented by EAEU partners was emphasized.
From member states Kazakhstan, for example, seemed to assume the role of Azerbaijan’s representative in the EAEU. Let us remind that during the EAEU summit in Astana on May 29, 2014 they read the letter of Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev. The letter referred to Armenia’s joining the EAEU within the UN-recognized borders, without Artsakh. The president of Kazakhstan also always finds an excuse not to visit Armenia. For example, Nazarbaev was absent from the CSTO Yerevan session held in Yerevan on October 14, 2016 because of “illness” but later it turned out he was not ill.
By joining the EAEU the security issue, or how Serzh Sargsyan declared the myth of “helping to resolve Karabakh problem”, however was and continues to be broken by the Russian Federation which continues to arm Azerbaijan.
Majority of Armenians supports EAEU
In 2016 Eurasian Monitor conducted a survey among the population of the EAEU member states to find out people attitude towards EAEU. In 4 member states the majority of the population is generally positive. The picture, however, varies considerably in Armenia.
According to the survey in 2012, 61% of the Armenian population voted for the EAEU, 26% were indifferent, and only 3% voted against it. In 2015, when Armenia officially became member state to EAEU, the number of those who supported this structure dropped to 56 percent, 29 percent of the Armenians were indifferent, and 10 percent voted against it.
In 2016 the number of citizens advocating for the EAEU dropped to 46 percent. The number of those who voted indifferent or against rose to 33 and 15 percent respectively.
Thus, Armenia is the only EAEU member state with less than half of its population welcoming membership to the union.