“Haykakan Zhamanak” wonders how much electricity prices will go up in Armenia in view of the latest decision to extend the term of operation of the country’s only nuclear power plant in Metsamor. “It has already been decided that next fall the plant will be temporarily halted for major repairs, only after which it will be possible to use it for another 10 years. All technical and financial issues connected with the repairs can already be considered solved, but one question remains: how much electricity prices will go up in Armenia after the repairs. It is not the question of whether prices will go up or not, it is the question of by how much,” the paper writes, reminding the readers that when the plant did not work for 88 days due to repairs in 2013, a 10-percent rise in electricity tariffs took place this year.
Under the headline “Crucial Developments In Armenia’s Neighborhood” “Zhamanak” reflects on the political crisis in neighboring Georgia: “At present, in fact, it turns out that a political party with a principle-based position on European integration has quit the country’s governing coalition and Georgia faces two scenarios: either without this force they will start to consistently yield to Russia’s pressure and Moscow will finally succeed in establishing a pro-Russian government in Tbilisi, or the internal political crisis in Georgia will aggravate and a new coalition of pro-European forces will be formed to take power as a result of early parliamentary elections. If we try to consider these developments from the perspective of Armenian interests, then in case of Armenia, which is being turned into an appendage of Russia, it is very important that at least Georgia preserves its pro-European orientation and thus at least through this some balance will be preserved in the region to deprive Russia of the possibility of acting on its own.”
“168 Zham” cites concerns being voiced in Europe that Georgia’s association with the EU may be in danger: “At this moment, of course, it is difficult to predict how developments will be unfolding in the neighboring country, but it is not difficult to assume that in this case, too, we deal with pro-‘Eurasian’ phenomena. It is obvious that Russia is first of all interested in such developments in Georgia. Naturally, Russia is ready for anything to erase any ‘European’ trace in the South Caucasus. It managed to do so in Armenia without any great difficulties. The possible change of Georgia’s course as far as association with the EU is concerned is, in fact, also a threat to Armenia, since if Russia manages to scuttle Georgia’s pro-European course, Armenia, in fact, will also physically be deprived of the ‘European window’ and will face the sad prospect of the region turning into a ‘Eurasian’ domain.”