YEREVAN — The 50th anniversary of USAID and its unabashed celebrations in Yerevan have sparked official enthusiasm among Russian Diplomatic Mission in Armenia to do something worth-while. Sources report a growing urge of Russian Ambassador in Armenia to plant a tree or something.
The Russian Ambassador to Armenia Vyacheslav Kovalenko announced early on Thursday in a press release that after 20 years of active watching US government do stuff in Armenia, decision has been made to try something actually good for the Armenian citizens.
“Russia is interested in a strong and prosperous Armenia. To date our support has been mainly in the area of security, thanks to which today Armenia has two tanks and three missile launchers per capita. Next step — perhaps something socially useful, something infrastructurish – we might as well build a road or something,” – elaborated the diplomat.
Experts believe the new move has ben prompted by the public exhibition of USAID’s $1.3 billion support to Armenia’s infrastructure over the past twenty years. Analysts perceive unusual sense of embarrassment experienced by Armenia’s northern strategic partner as side effect all the recent praise for USAID in Yerevan.
“For the past twenty year, Russians have not built a single school, road or irrigation for villages,” says Aleksandr Iskandaryan, political analyst. “Kremlin’s main focus has been on guns, ammunition and tanks. I believe the loud promotion of US’s assistance to Armenia has seeded certain sense jealousy and even perhaps hypothetic decency.”
The plan presented by the Russian official involves coming up with an idea of providing a useful social input for Armenians and making sure it doesn’t end up being a tank.
Our source at the Russian Embassy reports about growing resolve and “very good feeling” about doing something useful for the society. “It’s very exciting. When Ambassador Kovalenko saw the USAID-Armenia reports all over the Facebook, it sparked something positive in him. And in a matter of just a few minutes — he told us to think of something cool to do for Armenians.”
Although the details are still not settled, the Russian Embassy made it very clear that they are resolute to pull a good cop in spring 2012. Sources report, however, Russian plan B ( in case doing something useful fails) includes boosting military assistance to three tanks and five missile-launchers per capita.