Should we expect a new war if we disagree with Moscow’s aspirations to see Azerbaijan as a member of the Eurasian Economic Union?
In response to the question, whether it is possible that Azerbaijan joins the EAEU, Sergei Glazyev, Russian President’s Adviser on Eurasian Integration Affairs said, that the final decision to integrate Azerbaijan in the Eurasian Economic Union depends on Armenia: “Eurasian Economic Union is open to all participants, but in this case the decision depends on Armenia, as decisions in the Eurasian Economic Union are made based on the consensus”. He added that Armenia, as a member of the Eurasian Economic Union, can use its veto right. Then Glazyev said that if we want peace in the Caucasus, the entire Caucasus needs to be integrated in the Kremlin’s Eurasian Economic Union. He considered it necessary to remind that post-Soviet countries have an ancient culture of establishing enormous empires together, and can build their common future for the next hundred years. “EAEU enlargement is a natural process, because it is still underway in the post-Soviet territory, where all our states have lived together for centuries, they know each other well, are able to communicate, have the common language of communication, Russian, have an ancient common culture of establishing enormous empires and cooperating. Together we have built the Russian Empire, the Soviet Empire, and we can build our common future for the next hundred years”.
Meanwhile, the Adviser of the President of the Russian Federation drew subtle parallels. According to him, the EAEU is a voluntary union, unlike the EU. In response to the question, whether if Azerbaijan joins the EAEU, it will be possible to resolve the Karabakh issue, Glazyev said, “Yes, among other issues, this problem will also be solved. I am sure that if we form a common economic territory, long-term cooperation between the enterprises and people will arise, our business circles will do joint business, mutual trust will be strengthened. Economy is ahead of politics. If economy is ahead of politics additional opportunities arise for solving unsolved political issues”.
So, Moscow has started to openly speak about Azerbaijan’s future in the EAEU, moreover, to speak about it in Yerevan, and in fact, they put Azerbaijan’s future possible membership issue on Armenia’s shoulders. And this is the case when official Baku does not hurry to make a decision on joining the EAEU, although several times Azerbaijan did not rule out the possibility of joining the EAEU at a high level.
It is noteworthy that Moscow considers Azerbaijan’s membership to the Eurasian Economic Union as a guarantee for Karabakh conflict settlement. That is, as Baku does not consider the activity of the OSCE Minsk Group a format for effective and peaceful settlement, as well as Russia, which is a co-chair country in the OSCE Minsk Group, it believes that the Karabakh problem can be solved in another platform – in the EAEU, if Azerbaijan joins the EAEU and in case Armenia gives its consent.
In fact, Moscow presents its views clearly without unnecessary modesty. It is noteworthy that Moscow hints that EAEU is a voluntary union, unlike the EU. The hints, as they say, are clear. This is said in Yerevan, where the Armenian authorities are going to sign a new agreement with the EU in the near future.
It is no coincidence that the ruling Republican Party of Armenia representatives have once again begun to present the Armenian-Russian alliance the only way to ensure Armenia’s security, as was the case after September 3 in 2013. Republican Party Spokesman, Vice-speaker of the National Assembly Eduard Sharmazanov notes, that the Armenian-Russian united military group is for strengthening the security and defense system of Armenia, which is aimed at protecting Armenia from all threats, whether from Azerbaijan or Turkey. By the way, it was Sharmazanov who announced the “good” news weeks ago: “If Azerbaijan becomes a member of the EAEU, the possibility of resumption of hostilities will be limited”. As we can see, the Republican Party is seriously preparing for Azerbaijan’s possible membership in the EAEU, and, parallel to that, even ahead the events, they have begun to make “excuse” for its underlying potential benefits.
The other parliamentary forces supplement the ideas of the Republican Party. Being a member of the Eurasian Union, it is possible to raise the question of selling Russian arms to Azerbaijan, Vice-Speaker of the National Assembly, Mikayel Melkumyan mentioned at the National Assembly last week, presenting the Prosperous Armenia faction’s view on the draft statement on the withdrawal of Armenia from the Eurasian Union. If we also add Republican MP Artashes Geghamyan’s quite frank speeches on what cruelties our country will face if we irritate Moscow, and apply for a withdrawal from the EAEU, to this, then everything becomes clear.
According to our politicians, the conclusion is as follows: we are doomed to the Eurasian Economic Union, otherwise we are in danger of annihilation… Moreover, should we expect a new war if we disagree with Moscow’s aspirations to see Azerbaijan as a member of the Eurasian Economic Union? In fact, we should.