Would please comment on the prospects of EU’s Eastern Partnership Project, amid the refugee crisis in Europe and disintegration processes it has caused?
The Eastern Partnership (EU) failed before the migration crisis. I’d like to recall that the program was proposed to implement a geopolitical project against Russia. The task Washington imposed on the project authors - the then foreign ministers of Poland and Sweden - was to hamper the Eurasian integration projects initiated by Moscow.
The given task was partly carried out through the uprising in Ukraine in February 2014 and destabilization in Moldova rather than through the Eastern Partnership program. The key European actors - Germany and France - are
not interested in continuation of the EaP program today. The EU has no enough budget resources for that either. In this light, I think the Eastern Partnership prospects are rather vague.
Will the serious problems with refugees, particularly the New Year incidents in Köln, gradually make Germany and, consequently, Europe, abandon the existing system of values towards the people seeking refuge from war and ISIL?
Most of illegal migrants are not citizens of Syria or Iraq. These people are arriving mainly from Afghanistan, and the countries of Northern and Central Africa. All these economic migrants are, in fact, not refugees. Refugees are, inherently, the people who flee the zones of armed conflicts to save their lives, like Armenians fled the Syrian Aleppo flowing into Armenia after the Turkey-backed extremists attacked their city. Meantime, economic migrants are often the first to reach Europe. Many of them need compassion, but the EU cannot shelter them even temporarily. Therefore, I think, the EU will most probably start assisting those people in the territories of the countries they are arriving from.
It must be acknowledged that the European Union had its part in liquidating the regimes in Iraq, Libya, as well as in the West's general fight against the regime in Syria. Don’t you think that the refugees that have flooded Europe are a kind of price the EU is paying for the support to its NATO ally – U.S.?
Sure, you are quite right. Implementing the plans and interests of the United States in the Middle East and
Northern Africa, Europe came out against its own security. It turns out that most of the EU countries
played the role of Washington's "useful idiots" and "bandogs." Now, many in Europe have finally started to
comprehend that Russia is trying to restore the stability on the continent, while Washington remains just a destructive factor for Europe.
Can one link the domestic instability in Moldova with Moscow’s efforts to replace that government in that country with a more pro-Russian one? Is that project has any prospects?
I do not think Moscow is behind the recent developments in Chisinau. The oppositionists - except Igor Dodon and his socialists - are not connected with Russia. It is hard to suppose that the oppositionists could serve Russia's interests. I think the current crisis is connected with the fact that Moldova is not an accomplished state in terms of governance, economy and social policy. The role of corrupt officials and oligarchs is too high in that country.
Do you see any other reasons besides the volatile social and economic situation in Azerbaijan that could leave hopes for any breakthroughs in the Karabakh peace process in 2016?
Azerbaijan still has rather a big potential, including financial one. Therefore, even in the light of the volatile social and economic situation in Azerbaijan, the current trends hardly leave hopes for any breakthroughs in the Karabakh peace process in 2016. I anticipate no big changes in the foreign policy of Baku, much less in the peace process. I think the citizens of the Nagorny Karabakh Republic should step up efforts to bolster their statehood and enhance economy. They should not rely on Yerevan, as Armenia has its own problems and restrictions.
I am afraid no breakthrough should be anticipated in the peace process. Hopefully, there will be no escalation of the situation either and the conflict will remain frozen.
It appears that lifting of the “nuclear” part of the sanctions against Iran may open new economic and (why not?) geopolitical opportunities to Armenia turning it into a transit country between the south and north. What are the prospects in the given direction? Will Russia involve in such projects?
Perhaps, no one understands contemporary Iran and its authorities better than Armenia. In this situation,
Armenian business may become a very important mediator in trade relations of the West and Islamic Republic of Iran. In addition, the North-South road corridor may successfully be implemented only in case relations between Moscow and Tbilisi are normalized. 'By the way the project would already exist if there were no obstacles created by Georgia and Azerbaijan. Naturally, Armenia is very interested in this project, as it knows Iran better than many others.