“Zhamanak” reacts to Energy and Natural Resources Minister Armen Movsisian’s announcement that Armenia has secured a 30 percent discount for the price of Russian natural gas in exchange for its decision to join the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. The paper alleges that this is price at which the Armenian authorities have sold out the country’s independence and future. “We are talking about several hundred million dollars,” it says. “The fact that Armenia’s decision to join the customs union has a concrete price is telling, extremely telling.”
“Hraparak” reports that Ishkhan Zakarian, the outgoing chairman of the parliamentary Audit Chamber, did not rule out the possibility of his reappointment by President Serzh Sarkisian on Monday. The paper says that Zakarian seemed to be in high spirits as he briefly spoke with journalists in the National Assembly.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that the cost of public transport in Yerevan will rise after all by 50 percent from January 1, 2014. The paper says the authorities hope that the Christmas and New Year’s holidays will overshadow the unpopular measure and deflect public attention from its socioeconomic consequences. It says they have also calculated that “it will be cold and young people will not take to the streets” of the Armenian capital to again challenge the price hike.
“There does seem to be an upsurge in nationalism and xenophobia in Russia, which is apparently directed, to a certain extent, by the Kremlin,” “Aravot” writes in an editorial. The paper believes that the Russian authorities would have cracked down on nationalist groups holding “Russian marches” and thugs attacking migrant workers from the Caucasus and Central Asia these days. It suggests that by fanning nationalist sentiment in Russia the Kremlin is trying to distract Russians from grave challenges facing their country and the failings of their government.