“Hraparak” says that the price of Russian gas is Russia’s only strong lever for exerting pressure on Armenia. “Russia sells gas to Armenia at a price slightly below the market level,” writes the paper. “Armenian government representatives are in no rush to specify Armenia’s official position on the Eurasian Union. It is not clear what President Serzh Sarkisian said in response to [Vladimir] Putin’s proposal to join the Eurasian Union [in Moscow last week.]”
The paper claims that Sarkisian is saying privately that Armenia should “maneuver” between the European Union and the would-be Eurasian Union for the moment. In these circumstances, it says, Russia could pressurize Sarkisian by supporting a possible candidate of the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) in the February 2013 presidential election and “blackmailing the authorities with a gas price increase.” “Will Russia take such a radical step and will President Sarkisian manage to maneuver between the West and Russia? It can be asserted at this point that in any case Russia’s influence in Armenia is increasingly declining and that is a positive phenomenon in itself,” concludes “Hraparak.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” predicts that few of the Syrian Armenians that have come to Armenia in recent months are likely to stay there for good. The paper cites the example of Iraqi Armenians that took refuge in Armenia following the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Most of them are believed to have subsequently left the country. “The same thing will undoubtedly happen to Syrian Armenians that have come to Armenia,” it says.
“Aravot” calls for the adoption of a new Armenian law on mass media, saying that the existing one “does not regulate existing realities.” “Nevertheless, there are a number of issues that cannot be regulated by law,” editorializes the paper. “Self-regulation mechanisms also do not often help.” It says scathing verbal attacks launched by media outlets on a regular basis are also the norm within the broader Armenian society.