In a brief commentary for “Vocal Europe,” Regional Studies Center (RSC) Director Richard Giragosian offered a look at “The 3G of Armenian-Russian Relations: Guns, Gas and Goods.” In the piece, Giragosian noted that “of the various states of the former Soviet Union, Armenia has long been seen as the most loyal, and perhaps most subservient, to Russia. For Russia, its leverage over Armenia has depended on a “3G” approach, consisting of a combination of guns and discounted weapons, below market gas supplies, and goods, as both a major trading partner and as the dominant force of the Eurasian Economic Union.”
More optimistically, Giragosian stressed that “despite Armenia’s rather limited options, however, Armenia’s emergence as the only member of the Eurasian Economic Union with a strategic agreement with the European Union greatly enhances Armenia’s position in one key respect: as the key to garnering greater credibility for the Eurasian Economic Union.
And as Russia recognizes the necessity for greater credibility and credentials for its Eurasian project, Armenia has secured an important new instrument of leverage of its own. Moreover, as the potential bridge between the Eurasian Economic Union and the European Union, as well as to Iran, Armenia may be able to play a weak hand better and escape the pressing gravity of the Russia orbit on its own terms.”