“The property transferred, the debt repaid and everyone happy.” This “Hayots Ashkhar” headline sums up the position of the pro-government media on the Russian-Armenian debt settlement signed on Tuesday.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” is far from being happy with the deal. “This is a good start,” it writes sarcastically. “If things continue like this, it will be possible to clear Armenia’s entire debt within a short period. For example, we can give Turkmenistan the government building [in Yerevan], 1000 square meters from [the city’s central] Republic Square, the first floor of the presidential palace and the artificial pond in front of the National Assembly in payment of the debt. The European Bank [for Reconstruction and Development] will probably content itself with Lake Sevan, Khosrov forests and the Yerevan-Bagratashen highway. The World Bank, for its part, may agree to take Meghri.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” believes that the equities-for-debt deal is “more political than economic.” The paper says Russia has obtained control over Armenia’s energy sector and will not hesitate to use it for its geopolitical aims.
“Orran” says that unlike his Armenian counterpart Andranik Markarian, Turkey’s outgoing Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit did not make use of his government levers to affect the results of Sunday’s parliamentary elections in which his party fared extremely poorly. The paper thinks that this fact testifies to the strength of Turkey’s political system, which provides for free and fair elections. Once again the Turkish electorate was able to freely express and dictate its will to the political class. “Turkish society, driven by new geopolitical realities, is experiencing a period of reappraisals. The virtual absence of vote irregularities in Turkey’s electoral system allows the outside world and Armenians, in particular, to see those changes and try to make, at least theoretically, some conclusions.”
“Aravot” sees no reason to expect an improvement of Turkish-Armenian relations any time soon. They were tense even under the former Armenian leadership which favored a softer line on Turkey. The papers rules out “very radical changes” in Turkey in the near future.
“Hayots Ashkhar” says Turkey is facing “perhaps the most difficult dilemma in its history.” The paper claims that most ordinary Turks “have never separated secular Turkish nationalism from traditional Islam.” That is why, it says, “that artificially created state could implode into at least three -- European, Turkish-Islamic and Kurdish -- segments.”