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Press Review


"Haykakan Zhamanak" claims that Russia has hardly experienced a greater humiliation than the one to which President Vladimir Putin is subjecting it. The paper points out that Putin has twice congratulated Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich on his disputed victory in last week's presidential election which both the international community and Ukraine's parliament have refused to recognize. The parliament on Wednesday passed a vote of no confidence in Yanukovich's government. The paper says Putin has always been extremely nostalgic about the Russian Empire, adding mockingly that he has managed to restore it "only on Russian television screens."

"Hayots Ashkhar" accuses the entourage of former President Levon Ter-Petrosian of misleading the public about an alleged international pressure on Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and domestic democratization. The paper says Armenia is more democratic than Azerbaijan where a "hereditary monarchy" has taken root since former President Heydar Aliev's death.

"Aravot" makes a case for Turkey's admission into the European Union, saying that its government is carrying out "substantial reforms in order to become acceptable to Europe." "For us it is much more beneficial to have a European country, albeit with reservations, as a neighbor," it says.

"Hayots Ashkhar" reports that some currency traders in Yerevan share the suspicion that the Armenian dram's continuing surge against the U.S. dollar is instigated by the authorities. "Somebody probably wants to buy another Hummer [SUV car] and is pushing down the exchange rate to buy up a lot of dollars on the cheap," one of them is quoted as saying. But the paper believes that "objective factors" are at play at the moment, pointing to the dollar's worldwide weakening. "A number of countries are beginning to give preference to the euro in international transactions. Long-term forecasts are not encouraging for the dollar either."

The paper predicts a further drop in the dollar's value against the dram later this month. "In any case," it concludes, "the saddest thing about the dollar-dram love affair is the fact that the prices of consumer goods largely remain at the same level, if not grow."

(Vache Sarkisian)
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