Armenia Sees Economic Form of Union
INTERVIEW ARMENIAN LEADER
LEVON TER-PETROSYAN is chairman of Armenia's parliament. The republic of 3.4 million, located along the southern border with Turkey, had been one of six republics that refused to sign the new Union Treaty. He spoke with the Monitor on Aug. 26. Excerpts follow: What do you think the future shape of the Soviet Union will be?It will be an economic union. It would be difficult for many republics to survive on their own economically. How will a small republic, such as Armenia, make it? Our (Soviet) economy was built in such a form that it will be extremely difficult to sever relations between the republics quickly. Despite the political differences, these ties will be preserved for a long time. But gradually,... we'll have normal relations with the other republics. What will the Congress of People's Deputies discuss when it convenes on Sept. 2? I don't like the attempt being made now to restore the structures of the center. For me, the center as a political factor doesn't exist anymore. And now it's very dangerous not to use the chance to restructure our internal relations to get rid of the center and to transfer our way of life to structures similar to the European Community. If we again place the Army and KGB and Interior Ministry under central control, we'd be creating the same danger of a catastrophe that we have just lived through. What can the United States do now to help the situation in the Soviet Union? The United States should develop relations with the republics and should advise Gorbachev that he should appeal to the international community for recognition of the republics as subjects of international law. It would immediately lift the internal tension and by virtue of this fact the republics would be protected by international law. Now that independence appears likely, what is Armenia doing to improve relations with its traditional enemy, Turkey? Despite the historical antagonism ... we're ready to have normal relations with Turkey in an economic sense. As for Turkish position, judging by official declarations it's also ready to have normal relations with Armenia.