(Saturday, November 9)
“Zhamanak” hails a statement by James Warlick, Washington’s chief Nagorno-Karabakh negotiator, criticizing a pro-Azerbaijani draft resolution that has been approved by a key committee of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly (PACE). “In essence, the United States is putting the brakes on Azerbaijani petrodollars and caviar diplomacy, which have been used in various international structures and have satisfied Azerbaijan’s ambitions through wordings of various resolutions,” comments the paper. “This seems to have started annoying the U.S. The more so given the fact that both Turkey and Russia have assisted Azerbaijan in that endeavor from behind the scenes.”
“Zhoghovurd” does not expect Warlick’s criticism to have a decisive impact on the adoption of the “disgraceful” PACE resolution during the January session of the Strasbourg-based assembly. Still, the paper believes that the Armenian government can use that criticism to try to scuttle the passage of the PACE document or at least make sure that it does not influence the position of the U.S., Russian and French co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group. “Warlick has opened a door which the Armenian side should have vigorously slammed last year by thwarting the emergence of this unacceptable and 100 percent anti-Armenian report,” it says.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” claims that failure by President Serzh Sarkisian to enact his constitutional changes in the December 6 referendum would result in “regime change” in Armenia. “It is also obvious that all of our problems would not be resolved at once after that,” writes the pro-opposition paper. “But at least, $1 billion stolen from the state every year would shrink at least by half,” it says. “That extra $500 million would reach ordinary voters in one way or another.”
“Aravot” says that the upcoming referendum is a good opportunity for scores of moribund political parties and non-governmental organizations registered in Armenia to “remind us of their existence” by supporting or opposing Sarkisian’s constitutional changes. “There will be no more such opportunities before [the parliamentary elections] of 2017,” says the paper.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says that consumer price inflation in Armenia exceeded 4 percent in the first nine months of this year despite a more than 25 percent drop international prices of key foodstuffs. “According to elementary rules of the market-based economy, the cheaper foodstuffs should have flown into Armenia and become cheaper in Armenia as well,” says the paper. “But such a thing has not happened. And this only proves that the most elementary rules of the market-based economy do not function in Armenia and that there is no competition in imports of goods.”