Parliament vice-chairman Ara Sahakian told a Yerevan news conference yesterday that Armenia should consider joining the Russia-Belarus Union "in order to ensure its own security." Sahakian accused the U.S. of pursuing an "anti-Armenian political course, pressuring Armenia to abandon Karabakh and condoning Turkey’s hostile policy toward Armenia… If that continues, the Armenian leadership will have to raise the issue of joining the Russia-Belarus Union." But on the same day the other vice-chairman of the parliament, Karapet Rubinian, told the press that the suggestion was "not serious" and that he saw "no advantage to Armenia in joining that union." (Armenian and Russian agencies, June 25)
Sahakian first aired his proposal during a recent visit to Moscow, in connection with the Russian Duma’s nearly unanimous resolution inviting Armenia to join the Russia-Belarus Union. Notably, Sahakian had not been among the initiators of the recent initiative by some Armenian intellectuals and out-of-power politicians on joining that union. (See Monitor, June 10) While Sahakian’s proposal might be a trial balloon on behalf of the executive branch, Rubinian’s reaction would be an equal indication of high-level opposition to the idea. The parliament is overwhelmingly dominated by the Armenian Pan-National Union and behaves, on the whole, obediently toward the executive branch.
Inter-Tajik Political Agreement Scheduled to be Signed Tomorrow.