"Free Cheese" Of Customs Union

“Free Cheese” Of Customs Union

As soon as the news about rise of price of gas became known, a wave of
protest rose in Armenia. `Experts’ emerged who stated that if Armenia
joined the Customs Union, it would buy gas at `internal price’.

However, the wave of protest was not strong enough to make the public
think about an alternative. Moreover, the government assures that the
gas price will not grow much.

Russia has passed a law according to which beginning with 1 January
2015 citizens of the CIS will leave for Russia with foreign passports.
It will mean that Armenians will need a visa to travel to Russia.
Again, if Armenia does not join the Customs Union.

Remittances have a crucial social and economic role for Armenia. The
bulk of the state budget and business income goes to a handful of
people while most people live on remittances. And loss of Russia’s
labor market would have a negative impact on the social state of
citizens. However, it will hardly make the Armenians take to the
streets and demand to join the Customs Union.

Besides, Armenia is likely to pass a law according to which young
migrants must serve in the Russian army even if they have passed their
military service in their countries. Again, if that country is not a
member of the Customs Union. As a result, a generation of Armenian
young people will prefer staying at home to serving in the Russian
army.

Most of Russia’s steps are aimed at persuading Armenia and others that
there is no alternative to the Customs Union. However, each of these
steps cuts the number of people who link their lives to Russia, and
they have to face their homeland. Former migrants will live and work
at home and maybe even do a revolution, as Tigran Sargsyan put it. If
the CSTO troops, that is the Russian troops, do not hinder them.

And one more thing. If all the migrants leave Russia, this country
will be paralyzed because it lives at the expense of hard work and
humiliation of migrants.

Naira Hayrumyan
13:37 24/05/2013
Story from Lragir.am News:

http://www.lragir.am/index/eng/0/comments/view/29962

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