(Saturday, October 19)
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian’s remark that the Armenian economy must now develop “within the framework of the [Russian-led] customs union” came amid growing signs that Russia is on the verge of economic recession. The paper quotes in this context Russian Economic Development Minister Aleksey Ulyukayev as saying that the Russian economy can no longer grow the way it has grown until now.
“Zhamanak” reports that the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) and Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) are heading for another showdown in an upcoming mayoral election that will take place in the southern town of Ararat. The paper says that the BHK candidate there may well defeat his HHK rival after being endorsed by the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) of Levon Ter-Petrosian. It says the HAK endorsement means that Ter-Petrosian remains faithful to his controversial strategy of cooperation with Tsarukian.
“Hraparak” blasts a renewed campaign against non-traditional religious organizations which it says has been launched by pressure groups loyal to the Armenian Apostolic Church. The paper believes that their verbal attacks on adherents of various sects and calls for government sanctions against the latter runs counter to Armenia’s constitution and laws guaranteeing freedom of conscience. “Those who break the law, propagate religious intolerance and bully individuals espousing other faiths must be punished,” it says.
“Hayots Ashkhar” criticizes field the OSCE Minsk Group for not blaming Azerbaijan for the latest disruption of a regular ceasefire monitoring along the Armenian-Azerbaijani “line of contact” around Nagorno-Karabakh. The paper denounces as “hypocritical” OSCE field representatives’ claims that it was not impossible to determine which conflicting party violated the truce moments before the observation. It goes on to cast doubt on the professional competence of those officials.