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Dmitry Medvedev's visit to Yerevan: appointment of Armenia's prime minister - COMMENT

Dmitry Medvedev's visit to Yerevan: appointment of Armenia's prime minister - COMMENT
His participation at the meeting looks very small in this issue

Baku. 24 October. REPORT.AZ/ The two-day visit of Russian prime minister Dmitry Medvedev started today to Armenia. He will meet with Armenian prime minister Karen Karapetyan on October 24 and take part at the event on 25th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and Armenia and the 20th anniversary of signing the “Treaty on friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance” with Russia. The heads of governments will discuss bilateral cooperation in the fields of economy, trade, energy, investments and humanitarian. Moreover, a number of inter-governmental documents will be signed.

The trade turnover in 2016 is reported to be $ 1 billion 340 million.

In the first half of current year, trade turnover was $ 726,6 million.

The volume of Russian investments in Armenia increased by 44,7% to $ 2 billion.

The biggest investor in the country is Gazprom. This company invested in Armenian economy $ 800 million, Russian Railways $ 500 million, “Rosatom” $ 270 million, “Bank VTB” (All Russian Trade Bank) $ 283 million.

Dmitry Medvedev will take part at the meeting of heads of Eurasian Economic Community member states in Yerevan on October 25. Head of governments of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan will attend the meeting. By the way, Eurasian Fund for Stabilization and Development borrowed three loans for Armenia with a total value of $ 490.

It is not ruled out that Medvedev came to Armenia not for discussing the development issue of bilateral relations. He visits Yerevan when Armenian power is in very difficult time. On April 7, the head of Russian government also paid an official visit to Yerevan following the April battles in 2016.

On April 9, 2016,  Dmitry Medvedev has visited Baku. The prime minister who tried to cheer Armenians up in Yerevan also made efforts to calm down official Baku and public in Azerbaijan: “Escalation of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is not usual situation. As a member of the UN Security Council and OSCE Minsk Group, Russia tries to resolve the conflict. The negotiations should continue. Russia will do its best for settlement of this issue. Russia is interested in settlement of the conflict like Azerbaijan. There is no alternative for peace and negotiations.”

But this time during his visit in Yerevan he should clarify the issue regarding the identity of future head of Armenian government. The purpose of Medvedev’s visit could also be related with finding out the relations in the governments and balance of power. The tenure of the incumbent president of the country Serzh Sargsyan ends on April 2018.

Under the new constitution, from 2018 Armenia will become parliamentary republic. Not much time left. Any tension inside the power and society of this country does not correspond to interests of Kremlin. For this reason, Moscow began to solve the issue of future prime minister of Armenia from now.

Thanks to the resources he has, Serzh Sargsyan is more powerful than prime minister Karen Karapetyan. But Karen Karapetyan does not want to become a prime-minister for one year and six months. He made it clear when he took his position.

According to Armenian media Karen Karapetyan has appealed to Russian prime minister for help. Since he understands that he will not be able to defeat S.Sargsyan, through Medvedev he wants to get support of Russia and of course president Vladimir Putin. Karapetyan’s concern is understandable. Because Sargsyan’s agitation for becoming the prime minister of Armenia is being expanded. Though he doesn’t openly declare this claim his supporters already carry out agitation for him.

On October 23, deputy chairman of Armenian parliament, spokesperson of ruling Republican Party Eduard Sharmazarov in his interview to Azatyun said: “Serzh Sargsyan is our indisputable leader of our team.”

After meeting with President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev in Geneva on October 16, Sargsyan went to the Armenian embassy in Switzerland and met with diaspora representatives. What he has said at the meeting suggests that he asked from Armenians abroad the support for becoming the prime minister:

“I want everyone to be certain about one thing. There can be no solution method for us that can deter the security of Karabakh. An only solution for us is that Karabakh should be outside the border of Azerbaijan. No Armenian leader can ever make and realize such decision. With this purpose we will do everything and develop Armenia and strengthen it economically.”

In other words with such statement he sent his message to diaspora regarding his future activity program. The representative of civil society Narek Samsonyan said European Union knows that they will work with Serzh Sargsyan from 2018.

Like S. Sargsyan, Karapetyan is also the person of Moscow.

But it is not ruled out that the incumbent prime minister has weak public support in Armenia. That is why the sole source of hope for him is supporters in Russia. Medvedev is one of those supports and elements that can help him. Perhaps Karapetyan will play the same role Medvedev does in the Russian government. But this role can be vice versa. Serzh Sargsyan becomes prime minister, and Karapetyan the president.

In all cases, Russia sufficiently benefits from powers and individuals that raised in Nagorno Karabakh region of Azerbaijan and brought to Armenian power. Robert Kocharyan and Serzh Sargsyan becoming the president proved that.

They did not cross the line drawn by Kremlin yet and did not resist to Moscow. Karapetyan is not different from his compatriots. Moscow should make Serzh Sargsyan to admit that he is prime minister. Or he should retire the incumbent president of Armenia like Kocharyan , the precededor of Sargsyan. For now, the situation is as following. Even Armenia did not welcome D.Medvedev with good news. He visits Armenia amid the death news of military personnel like one and half year ago. But these military represents the Russian Armed Forces, the cause of their death is also different.

Notably, on October 23, military serviceman at the Russian military base No 102 in Armenia with military assault fire shot and killed his fellow. After that he committed suicide.  

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