YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–"Under current conditions it is quite apparent that both Armenia and Russia have the same objectives," former deputy of the Russian State Duma–Director of the Institute of Compatriots and CIS Countries–Konstantin Zatulin––said in an interview with Noyan Tapan. According to Zatulian who is who is attending the Armenia-Diaspora conference in Yerevan–"Russia has its own Israel in the Caucasus – and that is called Armenia."
Zatulin pointed out that the ruling elite in Russia is currently undergoing changes – as President Yeltsin is stepping down. Under Yeltsin’s rule Russia’suffered a great many defeats both in domestic and foreign policies: the situation in the North Caucasus is a consequence of these defeats–Zatulian said. He thinks that Russia’s status of a Caucasian country is at stake today. "I think that it is in the common interest of both Russia and Armenia that Russia’should remain a Caucasian country. In the long run we have overlapping interests in this region too. It seems to me that from this viewpoint the ground for cooperation is getting broader. According to Zatulian–"the struggle Russia is now waging in Dagestan and Chechnya concerns Armenia too. Likewise–the struggle Armenia is waging in Karabakh concerns Russia."
Zatulin is the vice-chairman of the committee organizing the "Congress of Russian Compatriots" to be held in Moscow on November 1-2. The experience of the Armenian Nationwide Forum is of particular interest to him in this regard. According to Zatulian–the experience of the Armenia’s–who have been able to preserve their unity and spiritual integrity in the face of hardship and severe historical conditions is extremely important to the Russian people. "The Russia’s have never been split so greatly as they are today," the guest remarked.