(Saturday, April 30)
“Zhamanak” is ambivalent about recent political developments in Armenia. “On the one hand, it looks like there is a productive process where opposition demands on Liberty Square, March 1 and the release of the political prisoners are being met,” explains the paper. “On the other hand, it equally appears that time is thereby simply passing and approaching the next parliamentary elections.” The pro-opposition daily is not sure that the Armenian National Congress (HAK) can compel the authorities to hold those elections now.
“The disappointment of the [opposition] revolutionaries is not quite understandable,” editorializes “Aravot.” “If your young blood is boiling, if you want regime change straight away, then you must publicly declare that you disagree with Levon [Ter-Petrosian,] set up your own movement, go to Liberty Square, stage a sit-in, pitch tents there, blow away policemen’s hats, attack the presidential palace and so on. Why do you want those actions to be necessarily taken by the [Armenian National] Congress?” The paper argues against such “mad and utopian” actions, saying that they could at best “replace a rotten regime by a much more monstrous one.”
Ruben Hakobian, the deputy chairman of the opposition Zharangutyun (Heritage) party, tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that the HAK’s strategy of political struggle has “radically changed” in the last two months. Hakobian says that the HAK until recently denounced those opposition groups that did not support its “revolutionary” agenda and were ready to cooperate with the authorities. He says he would only welcome the start of a dialogue between Ter-Petrosian and President Serzh Sarkisian.
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” sees a “drastic change in the economic policy” pursued by the Armenian authorities. The pro-HAK daily says they no longer speak of using the economic potential of the Armenian Diaspora or turning Armenia into a regional financial center and have started concentrating on real economic challenges facing the country. It also points out that Sarkisian last month admitted that the appreciation of the Armenian dram has seriously hurt domestic manufacturers. Still, Artur Javadian, the Central Bank governor, said afterwards that this does not mean that the dram will necessarily weaken in the course of 2011.
“Kapital” reports that the Armenian government and the Gazprom giant will announce an agreement on the price of Russian natural gas for Armenia “in the coming days.” “Gazprom officials say the parties have almost finished amending the existing agreement, which will set the new price of gas delivered to Armenia,” reports the business daily. “Sources close to the negotiations say the gas will be supplied to Armenia at a higher price.”