“Zhoghovurd” sees a certain contradiction between the signing on Wednesday of an agreement on the creation of a new Russian-Armenian air defense system and President Serzh Sarkisian’s criticism of the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) voiced the day before. The paper believes that the criticism was directed not only at the CSTO’s Central Asian member states but also Russia. It also claims that the agreement on air defense will draw Armenia into Russia’s bitter confrontation with Turkey.
“168 Zham” says that in his speech at the latest CSTO summit in Moscow Sarkisian also condemned Turkey for shooting down a Russian warplane near the Syrian-Turkish border. The paper speculates that he did so at Moscow’s urging. Nevertheless, it praises Sarkisian for slamming CSTO member states’ failure to openly support Armenia in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
“Events related to the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict are developing very fast,” writes “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.” The paper points to last week’s escalation of fighting in Karabakh, Sarkisian’s emergency meeting at the Armenian Defense Ministry, the Armenian-Azerbaijani summit in Bern, and Sarkisian’s “tough speech” at the CSTO summit. It says that further unexpected developments in the Karabakh negotiation process should therefore not take anyone by surprise.
“Zhamanak” says that a fresh $55 million credit announced by the World Bank on Wednesday was the latest in a series of loans secured by the Armenian government in the past several weeks. “These allocations undoubtedly serve as guarantors of financial-economic stability in Armenia,” comments the paper. “Without them the Armenian economy would simply collapse because it is practically impossible to imagine our oligarchs to get deep into their pockets and return their misappropriated personal funds to the public.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that food prices in Armenia are continuing to rise, albeit slowly, bucking a global trend. “In the past year, the average cost of foodstuffs has fallen by about 25 percent in the outside world but risen by 3.8 percent in Armenia,” the paper says.