Faithful But Constrained? Armenia's Half-Hearted Support for Russia's Regional Integration Policies in the Post-Soviet Space
London School of Economics Ideas: Geopolitics of Eurasian Integration, p. 38, 2014
10 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2014
Date Written: June 28, 2014
While Armenia is widely perceived as one of Russia’s closest allies, its attitude toward Russia-led policies is actually much more complex than it appears at first glance. Since the early 1990s, Russia has provided Armenia with what the country needs most in light of its geopolitical situation: security. Yet Armenia’s over-reliance on Russia actually increases the country’s vulnerability. Therefore, from the beginning of the 2000’s Armenia has increasingly sought to diversify its foreign policy and to enhance international integration, especially with the EU. Nonetheless, the country’s quest for complementarity has stumbled against Russian pressures, which resulted in President Sargsyan’s decision to join the Eurasian Customs Union. While this choice overshadows persistent interrogations in Armenian society, the country is de facto caught in a security trap. This is because the quest for protection at all costs has actually led Armenia to become increasingly, if not entirely, dependent on Russia.
Keywords: Armenia, Eurasian integration, Russia's foreign policy
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