YEREVAN, September 12. / ARKA /. Armenia's readiness to join the Customs Union meets its national interests, and will open up prospects for its development, will increase its prosperity and strengthen its position and prestige in the region and around the world, former Russian ambassador to Armenia Vyacheslav Kovalenko said today during a Moscow-Yerevan video conference.
"It is elementary, and it is unclear on what Armenia’s aspiration to sign association agreement with the EU was based, which would block, in my opinion, the only possible option for Yerevan to consolidate its allied relations with Russia through the Eurasian process ," said Kovalenko.
The diplomat said he never doubted that Armenia would eventually choose the Eurasian integration, noting that the allied relations between Armenia and Russia are based not only on military-technical , trade and economic, but also on humanitarian cooperation.
"Humanitarian cooperation implies development of close human relationships: it is the Russian language, mutual enrichment between the two cultures, it is the planned opening of the branch of Moscow State University in Armenia,” said Kovalenko.
According to him , the creation of the Armenian branch of the University will allow young people from the southern regions of Russia to pursue higher education not in Moscow but in Armenia and in the future , to stay at homeland and serve it. He also stressed the importance of around 100 centers of Russian language in Armenia.
Director of the Caucasus Institute, Alexander Iskandaryan, said Armenia and Russia are interconnected by many threads, and neither side wants to cut them. "Russia is important for Armenia in terms of its security. Armenia in turn has strategic significance for Russia which wants to be present in the South Caucasus as a significant force,’ Iskandaryan said.
Director of the Armenian branch of the CIS Institute, Alexander Makarov, added that the military- political cooperation has always been a priority in relations between the two countries. "If we talk about economic cooperation, Russian investors are the main investors in Armenia, the Russian capital is present in almost all areas of the economy", he said. -0-