Should we ‘integrate’ to the sanctions imposed against Russia?

Unprecedented sanctions imposed by the United States on Moscow, will completely undermine Putin’s administration, Armenia needs to refrain from their influence in all directions from security to economy.

On July 27, the US Congress passed a bill with the overwhelming majority of votes, which will impose unprecedented sanctions against Russia after 2014. To become law, the bill needs to be signed by the President Trump, and there is no doubt that the US president no longer has even theoretical leverage to cease the process of the sanctions. Moreover, according to the bill, the US President cannot take any action against that sanction without the Congress’s approval.

The sanctions are spread not only on companies operating in oil and gas projects in Russia, but also beyond, that is, cooperating with Russian energy companies becomes punishable if the Russian share exceeds 33%. In addition, the sanctions also are also applied on the Russian export pipelines.

By the way, it is not only about the construction of pipelines, but also repair and use.

Sanctions refer not only to energy but also the RF corrupt government and subjects, who rule the state-owned companies, and are Putin’s relatives. Means are designed to prevent the illicit money laundering or the use for other criminal goals.

At the same time, Russian business entities have a 14-day crediting period, which is equal to zero under current globalization conditions. All state propaganda means, cybercrime, Moscow’s intelligence activities are also subject to sanctions in separate points.

In fact, this is an unprecedented systematic blow to all the pillars of the Putin administration, Russia’s military and economic capabilities, influence possibilities beyond the border.

It is not difficult to notice something important: with this new package of sanctions Russia’s activities in Armenia are almost entirely out of the law and are punishable by the current toolkit. “Gazprom” and “Rosneft” in Armenia maintain monopoly positions, Russian pipeline is functioning, Russian propaganda is everywhere, Russian military bases operate at the expense of our taxpayers, where Putin’s chef can register a company, it is not enough, they have also “joint military groups” supplied by the Armenian taxpayer, and the Armenian corruption-oligarchic system has become a Russian affiliate.

The philosophy of survival of this insidious system is based on the “deepening of relations” with Russia within the “framework of the EAEU”, and the security, on the basis of bilateral relations, as well as on the “integration” within the framework of the CSTO, when we need to balance Moscow’s “business” with Azerbaijan by buying arms from Russia every year, increasing both our dependence and the Russian military presence in Armenia, and all this is called the “Armenian-Russian centuries-old friendship”.

However, in the political field of Armenia, most are not accustomed to asking questions, what to do, if the capabilities of Moscow, both of economic and security and military leverage, begin to decrease. In the political field of Armenia, it’s mostly “usual” that it should last forever, and most of the political field should continue to engage in politics secure and irresponsible without burdening their heads with unnecessary issues.

On July 28, the US and British Ambassadors expressed their unanimous opinion that in the security and defence spheres, “it is important for Armenia to decide with whom they want to collaborate”. US Ambassador Mills also noted that sanctions against Russia would not have a negative impact on Armenia. Of course, Mr. Mills means, apparently, that it will not affect the purely American “part”, and for the “Armenian” part the official Yerevan is responsible. And it is not the American ambassador to hinder Armenia if we pull our neck to the penalty press and try to isolate from the world.

Official Yerevan is not expecting difficult days; they have long been in difficult times. It’s understandable how difficult it is to pursue diplomacy with public arguments against logic. However, who is to blame? It was necessary to think and calculate a few simple things on time, rather than hoping for the eternality of the existing dilapidated realities.

Russians will not stop bothering us, and that’s clear, they will, as far as possible, increase the pressure inside their country, and, according to them, will strive to “strengthen” the buffer, which they have built around themselves during Putin’s office, and Armenia is part of it. We should not rule out that Moscow will demand Yerevan to “call media, civil society to order”, also, will aggravate the situation on the contact line, or activate the pseudo-radical groups and clubs in Armenia.

Armenia’s political arena is required to have a superb state mentality and productive activity to withstand this. The biggest mistake is to leave it to the government’s discretion or to rely on its responsibility. The best evidence of the power quality is the reality, in which we find ourselves today. And the realities change and require new approaches and a new political agenda, where there is no place for political delirium that has so far been tolerated. There are all preconditions for Armenia to withdraw from this trial with dignity, withdraw stronger and pave the way to a civilized world.

We can no longer “integrate” to the sanctions imposed against Russia, we must as far as possible and as soon as possible stay away from this all.


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