By Astghik Bedevian
YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — Armenia on February 8 shrugged off Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s claims that it will have no choice but to join a Russian-led “union state” of former Soviet republics.
In a televised interview with a pro-Kremlin Russian journalist broadcast on Monday, Lukashenko predicted that Moscow would cobble together a “union of sovereign states” with common defense, national security and economic systems over the next 10 to 15 years. He said it will comprise not only Russia and Belarus but also Central Asian states, Armenia and even Ukraine.
“Armenia has nowhere [else] to go,” claimed the long-serving Belarusian strongman. ”Do you think anyone needs them?”
“They have already seen that. Nikol Vovaevich [Pashinyan] has seen that, “he added in reference to the Armenian prime minister.
Pashinyan’s government hit back at Lukashenko through the Armenian Foreign Ministry and pro-government parliamentarians.