“Zhamanak” criticizes as “primitive” the Armenian government’s strongly-worded response to the latest Turkish overtures. The paper also claims that Russia will not allow Armenia to embark on a new dialogue with Turkey that could be seen by Moscow as going against the interests of the Russian-led Customs Union. Yerevan has tied its hands in the international arena by pledging to join that union, it says.
“Hayots Ashkhar” says the Turkish media have played up the significance of Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s December 12 visit to Yerevan. The paper says even Turkish official have cautioned against excessive expectations from the trip.
“Zhoghovurd” quotes Finance Minister Davit Sargsian as saying that Armenia does not intend to ask Russia for new loans. The paper notes that Yerevan has only recently prematurely repaid a $500 million Russian loan extended in 2009, using proceeds from the first-ever sale of Armenian Eurobonds. “That could have been deemed an achievement if the loan had been repaid with funds generated by Armenia’s economic growth,” it says, adding that Yerevan has simply replaced it by another, larger sum owed to private Western investors.
“Hraparak” says that although a rise in the cost of public transport in Yerevan is a forgone conclusion the municipal administration is “dragging out” the announcement of the unpopular measure. Officials in Mayor Taron Markarian’s office say they are still making relevant “calculations” of transport tariffs. The paper speculates that the authorities simply fear more anti-government street protests. It says they hope to have another excuse for price hikes with the forthcoming delivery of 27 public buses purchased in South Korea.