“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports on Thursday’s renewed depreciation of the Russian ruble which followed a further drop in the international prices of oil, the key Russian export. “Throughout the day the Russian Central Bank made several attempts to stop the ruble’s weakening but their effects were short-lived,” writes the paper. “The ruble has never lost so much of its value before.” It says that Russian analysts expect this downward trend to continue in the days and weeks ahead.
“This will naturally have an impact on the Armenian economy as well,” continues “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “The ruble’s depreciation is also leading to the Armenian dram’s depreciation because more than 80 percent of private cash remittances flowing to Armenia come from Russia.”
“Zhoghovurd” accuses Russia of breaking its pledges, given last year, to rescue Armenia’s troubled chemical giant Nairit with massive investments. The paper says that the Armenian parliament’s recent decision to set up an ad hoc subcommittee tasked with looking into Nairit’s financial troubles is therefore overdue and pointless.
“Aravot” comments on the Armenian government’s reported plans to seek a loan from the World Bank for saving Nairit from collapse. The paper disapproves of the idea, arguing that the Soviet-built chemical plant facing bankruptcy has already absorbed large amounts of government funds over the past two decades. “Before asking for new money it would probably make sense to find out what happened to those funds,” it says in an editorial. “Nobody should be shot or hanged [for Nairit’s mismanagement.] We just need to clear up things and move on.”