“Zhoghovurd” reports on “yet another” deterioration of Russian-Georgian relations following the signing of a controversial security agreement between Russia and Abkhazia. The paper says that the Russian government is using the agreement to again call for the reopening of a railway that used to connect Russia to Armenia and Georgia via the breakaway Black Sea region. The negative Georgian government reaction to the Russian-Abkhaz pact, it says, “showed that a solution to that issue is still a long way off.”
“This means that no matter how much [Armenian] pro-government economists and other experts say that membership in the Eurasian Economic Union will allow Armenia’s economy to move forward with big steps, it is obvious that that cannot happen for a very simple reason: the absence of a transport route [to Russia,]” concludes “Zhoghovurd.”
Citing unnamed sources close to Armenia’s banking sector, “Haykakan Zhamanak” says that large importers expect consumer spending on New Year’s and Christmas celebrations to fall below last year’s level. “They have planned their seasonal imports accordingly,” writes the paper, predicting a year-on-year drop of 5 to 10 percent in import volumes. It attributes the reduction to a “fall in the purchasing power of the population.”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” says that for the governing Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) the absence of large anti-government demonstrations means that Armenians do not support “regime change” sought by the opposition. The paper says the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK), the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) and the Zharangutyun Party should “prove the existence of very serious prerequisites for regime change in Armenia” with renewed joint street protests in Yerevan.