“Haykakan Zhamanak” blames the currency crisis in Russia for the rapid depreciation of the Armenian dram. The paper says the deputy governor of the Russian central bank, Sergey Shvetsov, on Tuesday described the situation in the Russian currency market as “critical.” “Russia’s financial system is literally crumbling,” the paper says. It adds that the Armenian currency will stabilize only “when signs of stability loom in Russia.”
“The situation is much more worrisome when it comes to more long-term forecasts,” writes “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” “What will happen in 2015? What will happen in the following years?” The paper points out that the Russian economy is projected to contract by about 5 percent next year. “And that means cash remittances sent from Russia to Armenia will keep rapidly falling next year,” it says. “By at least 20-25 percent.” The dram should therefore lose more of its value, it says.
“What will happen next?” “Zhoghovurd” asks and sees no answer to this question. The paper complains that no senior Armenian official made statements on the currency crisis in order to calm the population on Tuesday. “Of course there are arguments that sanctions imposed on our big brother Russia have shaken the entire global economy and that there is nothing we can do about that,” it says. “There may be elements of truth in this. But the problem has deeper roots in our country. The thing is that there is not a single official in Armenia whose statements are even partly trusted by people.”
“Zhamanak” says the consequences of the dram depreciation are particularly severe for thousands of Armenians who are paid in drams but have to repay loans denominated in U.S. dollars. “They may find themselves on the brink of poverty amid increased inflation,” the paper says. It also claims that thousands of small businesses will face bankruptcy for the same reason.