In an interview with “Aravot” Russian President Vladimir Putin’s advisor Sergey Glazev suggests that it wasn’t Russia that made Armenia join the Customs Union, but rather it is pressure from the European Union that lead Armenia to deciding to join the Moscow-led bloc. “It was essentially offered to Armenia to become an adjunct to the EU on discriminatory terms and as in the case with Ukraine it would grant all rights to make decisions to Brussels and then simply carry out instructions,” the Russian official argued.
“Hraparak” suggests that the approval by the European Parliament on Wednesday of the visa facilitation and readmission agreements with Armenia on the one hand corroborates the views that the West is guided by the principles of democracy, humanism, encouragement and that European integration has no alternative. “On the other hand, no matter how painful it is, it also confirms that Armenia’s choice to become a member of the Customs Union was a meticulously calculated step, for usually the one that does not use sanctions is not feared. So, in this case Armenia chose to be with the one that can punish.”
“168 Zham” says the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) party has decided to achieve a power change “from within” by becoming part of the authorities and changing their essence. “The ARF’s step of becoming part of the authorities takes place today: Aramayis Grigorian, who was eighth on the party’s list of candidates [during parliamentary elections in the past], will be appointed governor of Ararat,” writes the paper, adding with irony: “The ARF has a principle-based position and since the Turkish-Armenian protocols are still on the agenda of the parliament, it cannot become part of the coalition. But it does not mind making a ‘power change’ by quietly getting individual posts.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” does not exclude that during the 2014 budget debate the government will make a ‘surprise’ decision to raise the salaries of public sector employees not beginning in July, as the budget draft envisages, but already in January. The paper cites the budget fulfillment report for the eight months of this year showing that the government has managed to save almost twice as much as it plans to spend on raising salaries next year. “This, of course, will be done for propaganda purposes as people have already got accustomed to the thought that they should not expect a raise until the middle of next year. And when they get the raise six months earlier, they will feel very happy. This whole show will be threaded out and held together by the idea that the government has executed the orders from [president] Serzh Sarkisian the Great to raise salaries from January 1,” the paper writes.