_ Stepan Grigoryan, Tatev Matinyan, Hasmik Grigoryan. Yerevan, March 2018.
The Project was implemented by the Analytical Center on Globalization and Regional Cooperation (ACGRC), Armenia. The study was carried out in 2017 with the support of National Endowment for Democracy (NED). The contents of this Report may differ from the views of National Endowment for Democracy (NED).
On the first stage, which was implemented from June 1 through September 1, 2017, public opinion polls were conducted questioning totally 900 citizens, of which 402 (44.7%) in Yerevan and 498 (55.3%) in Gyumri, Vanadzor, Vayk, Yeghegnadzor, Martuni and other provinces. 497 (55.2%) of the respondents were female and 403 (44.8%) were male.
The survey results show that 50.67% of citizens in Armenia believe that Armenia’s membership to the Eurasian Economic Union has a negative impact on the country, and 45.33% of the respondents are convinced that the impact has been positive.
To the question whether you consider Russia as an ally of Armenia, 34.33% of the respondents gave positive response, and 30.56% gave negative answer. 35.11% of respondents said that Russia is partly Armenia’s ally.
In response to a question about the Armenian economy, 23.33% of the respondents mentioned that the deterioration of the economy is connected with the membership of the Eurasian Economic Union, and 37.67% think that the deterioration of our country’s economy is not related to joining the Eurasian Economic Union.
Opionions by Armenian politicians
In September-October, 2017 requests were sent to fill out the open questionnaire prepared by the Analytical Centre on Globalization and Regional Cooperation (ACGRC), to 28 political parties that have at least one MP in the National Assembly of the 6th Convocation or at least one MP in any factions or participated on parliamentary elections held on March 2, 2017 and are active in political life of the country or have a political long history.
Majority of the respondents that is 73%, answering to the question on the consequences caused Armenia’s membership in the Eurasian Economic Union, had certain standpoint on the issue, stating that it has positive consequences – 41% and other 32% believe that it has caused regress while 27% giving uncertain answers referred to the challenges the Union faces and the possible opportunities in the future. It should be mentioned that the results of this question identifies a sustainable group of political parties who have certain standpoint regarding external affairs of the country and that is 27%.
The parties stating that as a result of Armenia’s membership in the EAEU the country had possible developments, supported their approach with the following arguments:
- There are some positive economic outcomes that will become more in the future.
- Armenia has reaffirmed strategic relations with Russia and has accessed a multimillion- dollar market.
- Created an opportunity to develop common trade and economic ties.
- Export volumes in Armenia have greatly increased.
- With the accession to EAEU, Armenia has avoided the Association Agreement.
- Taking into account our mentality we are closer to the countries that are members of the EAEU and no one in the EU market is waiting for us.
- Transparencies of private persons have increased, which speaks about the free movement of labor force.
The majority of respondents that is 86% answering to the question on whether there is a necessity to leave the Eurasian Economic Union gave certain answer out of which 59% replied that it is necessary to remain member of EAEU, when 27% believe that Armenia must leave EAEU and 14% gave elusive.
Interestingly, despite the fact that replying to the previous question 32% of the respondents claimed that Armenia had regressed after joining EAEU, the number of parties that believed that it is necessary for Armenia to leave the EAEU diminished to 27%.