(Saturday, December 21)
“168 Zham” says the controversial gas deal with the Russian energy giant signed by the Armenian government and backed by the pro-government majority in the parliament amounts to high treason. “The governing majority yesterday finally proved that for the sake of serving Russian interests and clinging to power as a result of that, it is ready to sell out everything, from its personal dignity to the prestige and sovereignty of the state,” writes the paper.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” believes that the parliament leadership on Friday delayed a planned vote on the deal’s ratification until Monday under strong pressure from opposition lawmakers rejecting it. “The opposition arguments were more than substantiated, while the speeches of government representatives aimed at somehow mitigating the situation sounded nonsensical, emotional and shallow,” claims the paper. It says the majority leaders hope that “tempers will calm” before Monday and the deal with be ratified in a less tense atmosphere.
“The key thing is not even the details of the humiliating Russian-Armenian agreement,” writes “Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun.” “The process of humiliation started 12-13 years ago, and the signed agreements only symbolize its logical completion. The problem is that the parliament is presented with an unconstitutional document containing elements of high treason and the parliamentary majority obediently accepts it. So there is every reason to claim that if the parliament is presented with an Armenian-Azerbaijani accord envisaging Armenian withdrawal from the seven liberated districts and Karabakh’s return under Azerbaijani rule this parliament will ratify it with the same quiet obedience.”
Galust Sahakian, the parliamentary leader of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), rejects the opposition criticism in an interview with “Hayots Ashkhar.” Sahakian insists that the Armenian government did not cut any secret deals with the Russians. He argues that the gas agreement in question is being publicly debated in the National Assembly.