Iran has been active in Armenia in the past several weeks, which brings forth opinions about the likelihood of closer Armenian-Iranian relations in the time to come and the implementation of a number of major regional projects involving the two neighbors. This closer cooperation may also mean that Armenia will depend less on Russia when it comes to energy matters.
Several domestic political scandals fraught with high-profile resignations are arising in Armenia. Despite the fact that the country has no tradition of resignations based on violations or alleged violations of ethical and legal norms and standards, recent media disclosures of offshore accounts could cost Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan his position considering other undercurrent processes.
Active geopolitical developments start taking place increasingly closer to Armenia and the recent forecasts by President Serzh Sargsyan that changes will start in the region in the time to come appear to be already coming true.
A “budget recovery” process has been launched in the Armenian parliament. It hardly goes beyond words now, but the lawmakers together with their speaker demand more vocally the punishment of those guilty of embezzling public funds.
Iranian Ambassador to Armenia Mohammad Reisi held a meeting with reporters in Yerevan on Tuesday during which he made a number of proposals to Armenia. The proposals were made almost directly, even though in a style typical of Persian diplomacy.
New, but still very weak hints that indicate increased pressure from the international community have appeared in the Karabakh settlement process as there is an increased probability of “normalization of relations” without actually resolving the conflict.
The passing week saw a National Security Council meeting on energy security and institutional strengthening of local government bodies in Armenia that was convened by the country’s President Serzh Sargsyan. The public was not informed on what particular discussions went on during the meeting and what specific decisions were made on the mentioned issues, but the president’s official website disseminated Sargsyan’s opening remarks in which he made a number of forecasts pertaining to the region.
Discussions are on in Armenia regarding what other arguments Moscow may use to persuade Armenia to join the emerging Eurasian Union, a major post-Soviet reintegration effort initiated by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan did not attend the Russia-led Collective Security Treaty Organization’s (CSTO) summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on May 28, nor did he travel to Astana, Kazakhstan, the following day for the EurAsEC summit there, which gave rise to speculations that thus the Armenian leader showed his determination not to bow to Russian pressure.