The price rises were proposed by the country’s only electricity supplier, The Armenian Electrical Network, which is wholly owned by a Russian company, Inter RAO UES, and which is mostly run by expatriate Russians. Massive corruption is alleged, and AEN has huge debts.
We Own This Country
While Russia is presenting the protests as the beginnings of a colour revolution of the style seen in so many of the former soviet republics over the last 20 years or so, protesters say that it is the lack of government transparency and accountability which is the reason for their action.
“It’s less about who is in power, and more about making sure the institutions of the Armenian state are accountable to the population,” they say, "WE own this country."
A Strong NGO Influence
Taking a broader view, Armenia lies just south of Georgia, itself having come through a colour revolution, and itself the location of the first major offensive by the West against Russia, in 2008 with the South Ossetian incident. Mikhail Saakashvili, George Soros’ stooge and President of Georgia at the time of the Ossetian problem is now working as a special advisor to the Ukrainian government.
The region has a strong NGO presence, and it is that presence which in the past has done so much to foment the type of protect Armenia is now experiencing..
There are over 900 NGOs operating in Armenia, although it has to be said that many of them are very small outfits. Nonetheless there is a significant presence of international NGOs, including none other than George Soros’ Open Society Foundation.
Even more suggestive of the fact that there is more to this than meets the eye, all this trouble has begun within a few months of Armenia joining the Eurasian Union.
It would be a mistake to think that Putin’s Eurasian Union is anything like the European Union. It isn’t - in pretty much the same way that the BRICS isn’t anything like the World Bank/IMF.
The Eurasian Union - so far at least - respects the institution of the nation state, and national sovereignty. It has no stated intention for Federal integration.
So, while we should applaud the protestors for their stance on government corruption, and can find absolute sympathy with the “WE own this country” sentiment, the danger of the instability being created by the protests being used to bring about reforms that the protestors would not like, is high.
Is it a colour revolution? Not yet. But it could become one, and I would suggest that the intention is that it should.