“Russia seems to be changing its position on the events taking place in Armenia,” writes “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.” The paper points to Wednesday’s statement by Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin urging the Armenian government to reach a “compromise solution” with thousands of people protesting against electricity price rises. “But a true compromise must occur in Russia, rather than Armenia, and the negotiating parties must be the Russian authorities and the managers of the Inter RAO company,” it says.
“Zhoghovurd” reacts to Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian’s statement ruling out a reversal of the price hike, saying that it shows that the Armenian government continues to “fear” the Electric Networks of Armenia (ENA) utility owned by Inter RAO. The paper claims that this fear results from the fact that the government is also responsible for the ENA’s outstanding debts exceeding $225 million. It specifically accuses unnamed senior government officials of having personally benefited from corruption within the ENA.
“Aravot” describes the ENA as a “vacuum cleaner that will swallow our money” regardless of the size of the energy tariffs in Armenia. “The ENA is not a business structure,” editorializes the paper. “It’s a Russian state body whose main job is to draw money out of people’s pockets. There is no doubt that these price hikes will continue unless its owner is changed.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that Russian law-enforcement officials have raided and sealed the offices of a RAO UES subsidiary in the Russian city of Saint-Petersburg. “What happened is directly connected with recent days’ controversy over the work of the Armenian power distribution network, as a result of which Russian law-enforcement authorities are paying more attention to RAO UES and its subsidiaries,” speculates the paper.