On November 24, at the Eastern Partnership summit in Brussels, Armenia signed an Agreement on Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership with the European Union. Many Armenian public figures celebrated it in Facebook through an abundance of statuses and publications in which some thanked the Europeans for the opportunity to be part of Europe, while others said that with the signing of this document the authorities of the country together with European officials won a victory over “the fifth column.”
They call “the fifth column” those who are asking themselves about what the new format of cooperation with the EU gives to Armenia and are skeptical about "philanthropic" projects from outside. It is interesting that representatives of public organizations that have been receiving grants from Western funds for many years for their subversive activities should indulge in such statements, but this is another topic for conversation.
What does the agreement with the EU give to Armenia
This is the question that an ordinary person asks himself if he or she is not involved in foreign funds that "care" for development of civil institutions in other countries. Otherwise, if you listen to passionate fans of the European Union - Armenia will be better off, but it takes time, because nothing happens here and now. Such ideas are well in line with the activities of experts on human rights issues, but it is interesting that in the case of the EAEU the effect was expected instantaneously, and its absence became an occasion for total criticism.
This behavior is quite consistent with the logic of the work of public figures and politicians who serve the interests of the West, since double standards are the method of their joint activity.
The new document, by and large, is formally designed to improve the economic state of the country through close cooperation with the EU, as well as to carry out reforms in legislation, promote development of civil society and human rights. The process of liberalizing the visa regime is also expected to begin, so that citizens of Armenia can get visas to visit the EU countries in a more facilitated way.
However, questions arise: why does cooperation as the Western officials understand it mean intervention? Does cooperation between countries mean teaching each other how to support NGOs within the country and develop civil society? Or cooperation means pointing out to the law enforcement agencies of another country how should they act during special operations to combat crimes? Is it a true cooperation, when one country finances citizens of another for lobbying certain laws that are absolutely contrary to the real needs of society?
Moldova, Ukraine, and Georgia are vivid examples of the fact that it is not too early for Armenians to congratulate each other, nor should one have any illusions about the fact that European markets will open their doors in anticipation of Armenian goods. The political leadership of Moldova was also happy about this fact, however, as a result it turned out that the Moldovan goods absolutely do not meet the necessary standards. Today you can look at Moldova’s economic indicators and draw a conclusion as to what this country received from the European Union. It can be said with certainty that Moldova passed laws that it did not need absolutely, meaning the laws that are now actively promoted in Armenia: the law on the prevention of domestic violence, and so on.
Obviously, it is grant-dependent NGOs that are primarily to rejoice so that they can continue their subversive activities aimed at discrediting the Armenian-Russian relations, Armenia's participation in the EAEU and the CSTO, as well as some pro-Western officials in the government that will continue to push the country towards the West for decent fees.
Armenia’s real interests should be reflected not in other countries, but in Armenia itself. Whatever anyone says, there is a political reality, and it consists in the fact that the West pursues its goals, which are aimed at ousting the interests of Russia and the interests of Armenia itself in the region. Now the EU has accepted the "comprehensive" principle for practical reasons, however, once it already presented Armenia with an accomplished fact, therefore it is not ruled out that such an attempt will be repeated in the future.
An agreement with the European Union can soon come to light when it turns out that the Armenian legislation, government officials, the active part of its society are fully adapted to European standards, in which it will be very difficult to find a purely Armenian interest. I hope that before this happens, a real demand will arise in society for understanding what, in fact, is the Armenian interest and how it needs to be protected.
Arman Gukasyan, Chairman of the International Public Organization for Humanitarian Development (Yerevan)