(Saturday, November 29)
“Hraparak” reports that senior members of the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) made conflicting statements on Friday after a meeting with BHK leader Gagik Tsarukian held in Yerevan. “This confusion and contradictory statements show that Gagik Tsarukian does not yet have a decisive and final message,” writes the paper.
“Zhamanak” reports on what increasingly looks like a trade war unfolding between Russia and Belarus, two of the three members of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). The paper says that the Russian authorities have banned imports of meat from Belarus because they suspected that it has European Union origin. The Belarusian government has responded by threatening to take countermeasures against Russia, which is already suffering from falling oil prices. The paper says this is further proof that membership in the EEU will bode ill for Armenia’s economic development and even democratization.
Amanda Paul, a European analyst, tells “168 Zham” that the Armenian government needs to prove its stated commitment to economic reforms if it is to get additional aid from the European Union. “That will be very difficult to do given the fact that the Armenian economy has been monopolized by oligarchs,” she says.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that the international price of copper, a key Armenian export, fell significantly on Friday, dealing another blow to Armenia’s short-term economic prospects. The paper predicts that the price drop will reduce not only the earnings of Armenian mining companies but also their tax contributions to the Armenian state budget.