A CFR article/interview claims that Armenia's 2017 Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with the EU is not perceived as threatening by Russia.

If this is correct, it is a bit unlike how Russia reacted to the EU Association Agreements with Ukraine or Moldova. E.g., Russia almost immediately sanctioned Moldova economically for signing their AA, which includes a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) with the EU.

Is this (Armenian) view correct in further hindsight? If so, what is sufficiently different between CEPA and the other AAs (in particular DCFTAs) that swayed Russia's position?

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    I don't have a definitive answer for you question but I would say yes, this CEPA can only be perceived as somewhat threatening for Russia. I can only guess that any reaction will be far more measured with Armenia than with Moldova because Moldova has had a very strong pro-EU stance for almost two decades and Russia did not have that much to loose. Furthermore Armenia neighbors are quite different from Moldova and it is likely to stand (no EU member in reach) far more isolated with an open pro-west stance. – armatita May 15 '19 at 10:54

Differences between Armenia and Moldova

Given that nobody else has tried an answer until now, I'll speculate about possible differences:

  1. Neither Moldova nor Armenia is that important to Russia, but a Moldovan decision influences Ukraine. The strong reaction towards Moldova was a signal to Ukraine.
  2. Moldova is more important than Armenia:
    • Population: 4.1 per cent of Russian speakers (Armenia: 0.09); 150,000 Russian citizens (including dual citizens) (according to Wikipedia)
    • Engagement: Russia is militarily present in the Moldovan break-away republic Transdnistria (about 1,200 soldiers; according to Wikipedia )
  3. A closer association of Moldova with the EU destabilizes Transdnistria.
  4. Russia is not concerned about a privileged trade agreement, but about an eventual NATO membership. Moldova might have better chances than Armenia to join NATO in the short or medium term.
  5. Other:
    • Armenian politicians/diplomats have been more careful/capable.
    • Armenia is considered already lost.
    • Alternatively, Armenia is considered to remain closely attached to Russia, notwithstanding the agreement.
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  • Russia also has a military base in Armenia. And supposedly even a integrated air defence system with Armenia. – Fizz May 15 '19 at 21:14

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