Lragir.am says Armenian government leaders are in a euphoric mood after President Serzh Sarkisian’s visit to Washington. “The impression is that the authorities themselves did not think they will get off so lightly and will not have to make difficult decisions,” writes the online journal. “Moreover, the fact that Serzh Sarkisian was leaving for Washington with a ready decision [on Turkey] … suggests that the Armenian authorities expected to face something totally different in Washington and got ready for that in advance. But things seem to be delayed right now, which has given rise to government joy and euphoria … One gets the impression that Turkish-Armenian relations are no longer important to Armenia after [the talks in] Washington.”
Political analyst Manvel Sargsian is asked by “Zhamanak” to comment on implications of U.S. President Barack Obama’s support for “Armenian democracy” voiced during his meeting with President Sarkisian. He says Obama did not mean to say that Armenia is a democratic country. He argues that the U.S. State Department criticized Yerevan’s human rights record in a recent report.
“Aravot” reports that the head of the Armenian delegation at the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), David Harutiunian, has written to the leaders of the Strasbourg-based body asking them to condemn Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s threats to expel Armenian citizens working in Turkey. “In particular, he pointed out that such irresponsible statements are a blatant violation of international conventions on racism and discrimination and require quick reaction and close attention from the Council of Europe and the PACE in particular,” says the paper. “It is unfortunate, that neither Council of Europe secretary general, nor the PACE president has reacted to such irresponsible statements violating the principles and values of the organization,” Harutiunian is quoted as writing.
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” says that contrary to emphatic promises given by Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian, his government has completely failed to rein in “oligopolies” dominating the Armenian economy and end their tax evasion. “In effect, he is publicly admitting that failure but at the same time is giving the impression that tax bodies are to blame for that,” says the paper. “In reality, this is a very primitive propaganda trick and here is why. Tigran Sarkisian knows very well in whose hands big business is concentrated. He also knows that neither he, nor the SRC chief determines the tax obligations of those oligarchs. Making one or another Armenian oligarch pay taxes or go bankrupt is a solely political decision, and political decisions are taken by Serzh Sarkisian.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” says that Armenia’s banking sector has been seriously affected by the economic crisis after all. “Because of the crisis many borrowers have lost their revenues and ability to service their loans obtainer earlier on,” says the paper. It says the total amount of bad loans jumped to 65 billion drams ($175 million), accounting for 8.1 percent of rose Armenian banks’ total credit portfolio.