YEREVAN, December 25. / ARKA /. Russia needs to enlarge its informational presence in Armenia and step up the coverage of the Eurasian integration process, Mher Simonyan, president of Eurasian Cooperation Development Fund said today.
"The biggest Russian omission in Armenia is the absence of information support to what is happening between Armenia and Russia , what kind of positive dividends the Customs Union gives Armenia" , he said during a video conference Moscow - Yerevan on Armenia’s decision to join the Russia-led trade bloc.
In this regard, Simonyan welcomed the decision of Russian RIA Novosti state-owned news agency not to close its office in Armenia. Due to the reduction in funding in 2014, RIA Novosti decided in October to close its offices in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Moldova and stop support to partner agencies in these countries.
(On December 9, Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a decree dissolving RIA Novosti and replacing it with a conglomerate called Rossia Segodnya (Russia Today). The new organization, to be headed by Dmitry Kiselyov, would shift its focus, according to the decree, on broadcasting to foreign audiences).
Dmitry Polyansky, a Russian diplomat in charge of Moscow’s relations with former Soviet republics, said Russia, unlike many Western countries is not engaged in propaganda across former Soviet Union, while much of what the West does is brainwashing. He agreed with Simonyan that Eurasian integration –related developments are not given sufficient coverage, even in Belarus, Kazakhstan and Russia.
Armenia’s decision to join the Customs Union was backed also by Armenian parliament member Artak Davtyan from the governing Republican Party of Armenia. According to him, the decision was Yerevan’s reaction to EU’s pressure to chose between Eurasian and European integrations.
According to Mher Shahgedyan, a lawmaker from Armenian Orinats Yerkir (Country of Law) party, Armenia’s membership in the Moscow-led bloc meets ‘our national strategic interests.’
The roadmap for Armenia’s accession to the Customs Union was approved December 24 by the Supreme Eurasian Economic Council at a meeting in Moscow. -0-