“Kapital” says the Armenian government’s decision to form a joint venture with Russia for building a new nuclear plant contradicts Energy Minister Armen Movsisian’s earlier assurances that its reactor will be Russian-made and other facilities will be purchased from Western companies. The business daily says the decision will allow the Russian-Armenian venture to buy other nuclear plant equipment from Russian firms.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” estimates that the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) spent at least $200,000 on a buffet held after its weekend conference in Yerevan. The paper bases its calculation on the price list of a catering company that organized the reception.
“Aravot” carries a front-page photo of an expensive car which it says formally belongs to the state but is used by Armen Avetisian, the former chief of Armenia’s customs service. The paper says Avetisian rides in a motorcade of cars provided by the State Revenue Committee. The latter also provides and finances bodyguards surrounding him. The paper challenges Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian to explain “what he thinks of that.” “At a time when budgetary expenditures on social affairs, education and even defense are being cut back, a former official continues to be fed from the state budget,” it says.
“Yerkir” hits out at the HHK’s “propaganda machine” for saying that the party led by President Serzh Sarkisian could have single-handedly governed Armenia since 2003 without having to cut power-sharing deals with other political forces. The paper insists that the HHK formed coalition governments not because of its “political generosity” but because it did not want to see the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) and other major parties in opposition. “Take the last elections of local self-government bodies in Yerevan held in 2008,” says the Dashnaktsutyun-controlled paper. “Why did the HHK make every effort to get hold of all posts of community head during those elections? … Didn’t the same thing happen in the elections of Yerevan mayor?”