“Haykakan Zhamanak” says Armenia’s pro-government broadcasters are turning a blind eye to anti-Armenian protests in the Russian city of Arzamas that were provoked by a violent dispute at a local restaurant. The paper says their participants are demanding that all ethnic Armenians be expelled from their community. “Many Armenian families have already fled Arzamas. It Is not the first time that such events take place in Russia,” the paper says. “What is important here is not the events themselves but the behavior of the Russian authorities. It is probably no secret to anyone that they provide covert support to Russian extremists.” In these circumstances, it says, the Armenian government’s decision to join a Russian-led Eurasian Union is all the more irresponsible.
“Hayots Ashkhar” speculates that Turkey has “prematurely” started using against Armenia its propaganda ploys that were originally reserved for the 2015 commemorations of the centenary of the Armenian genocide. The paper says Ankara is doing this under pressure from Western powers that feel that Turkey is also responsible for Armenia’s decision to join the Russian-led customs union because its refusal to ratify the 2009 Turkish-Armenian protocols left Yerevan with no other alternative.
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” says many residents of Yerevan suspect that the rise in the price of natural gas supplied to their apartments has been even steeper than was officially declared. They feel that the gas generates less heat than before. “People are furious,” writes the paper. “They realize that they are being cheated but they can’t prove anything. Pinning hopes on the state is pointless.”
Henrik Navasardian, the head of the transport department at the Yerevan Mayor’s Office, assures “Zhamanak” that the municipal administration has still not made a final decision to raise bus fares in the capital. He denies reports that the fares will soar in January. The paper believes that the decision will be a political one made at the highest level given its socioeconomic impact on the population. “Armenians are already meeting the winter with more expensive gas and electricity,” it says. “Some basic products have also become more expensive. It is therefore evident that the cost of public transport could have serious consequences in the form of social protest.”