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The context of the Armenian-Russian relations. What we can expect? What to hope for?

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Armenian President Armen Sarkissian signed on August 5 into law a revamped bill on audiovisual media, adopted by the National Assembly in the second and final reading on July 16.

This law replaces the previous one on television and radio, which experts said was outdated and did not correspond to modern realities. The new law defines the status of distributors of audiovisual media services, audiovisual information, regulates the licensing procedure and so on.

In particular, the new law provides for the exclusion of foreign broadcasters, including Russian ones, from the public multiplex of Armenia. According to the law, foreign channels will only be able to be distributed without a license on a public multiplex on the basis of an interstate agreement between Armenia and another country.

Four of the five foreign channels are Russian, and it is one more reason to suspect Armenia of an unfriendly attitude towards Russia.

Indeed this law is aimed at ensuring information and language security of the republic by limiting Russian information influence.

The question is to what extent this legislative initiative is necessary.

If we have a holistic view on Armenian-Russian relations, it is obvious that the Armenian leadership continues to adhere to the course of strategic cooperation with the Kremlin, and Armenia's participation in European and American initiatives (Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement with the EU, participation in a number of NATO programs) is aimed at ensuring a balanced foreign policy.

The cognitive dissonance is being created by Russian-speaking Azerbaijanis, as well as some Russian news agencies and experts.
The anti-Armenian information and propaganda segment harmoniously focused on undermining the these relations by discussing their inconsistency, ineffectiveness, uselessness.

Unfortunately, this did not receive a sufficient counter-reaction either in Armenia or in Russia, that again testifies to the absence of a common information policy not only in the CSTO space, but also in the Armenian-Russian relations.

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an American journalist with expertise in the history and politics of Caucasus region

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