ՈՒրբաթ, Ապրիլ 25, 2014 Ժամանակը Երեւանում 13:53

in English

Press Review

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“168 Zham” criticizes Energy Minister Armen Movsisian’s “contradictory” explanations regarding Armenia’s newly declared $155 million debt to Russia’s Gazprom giant. The paper says Movsisian on Wednesday sought to ensure that “the reality is as incomprehensible as possible.” “And the reality is that Armenia has purchased [Russian] gas at a higher price since 2011 but it was officially acknowledged only in the summer of 2013 because Armenia held presidential, parliamentary and municipal elections before that,” comments the paper. “Announcing the price hike before those elections could have generated serious social unrest and prevented the authorities from reproducing themselves. In other words, Russia indirectly financed the reproduction of the Armenian government, which is why 20 percent of the ArmRosGazprom [gas distribution network] was transferred to Gazprom.”

“Haykakan Zhamanak” claims that Iranian gas may well be cheaper than the one supplied by Gazprom at a price of $190 per thousand cubic meters. “The other day the Iranian ambassador [to Armenia] held a news conference and stated that Iran can increase the volumes of gas supplied to Armenia,” writes the paper. “But the problem is that Armenia will not even negotiate with Iran on that issue. Armenia’s energy issues are solved not by Armenia’s government but by the leadership of Armenia’s government: the government of the Russian Federation. The latter wants Armenia to buy gas from Gazprom. And if Iran offers us gas for free it will be beyond our reach us because the Russians want us to heat our homes only with Russian gas.”

“Aravot” salutes hundreds of mostly young Armenians who took to the streets of Yerevan during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to protest against Armenia joining the Russian-led customs union. “Let us note with cautious optimism that the past 22 years have spawned hundreds of young people in Armenia who will in no case leave Armenia, want to live in an independent country, are not afraid of anyone and do not take anybody’s statements at face value,” editorializes the paper. “Even the existence of 500 such youths is an achievement because 500 young people with strong beliefs are more capable of changing the situation than 500,000 pensioners nostalgic about Communist sausage.”

“Hayots Ashkhar” says one interesting thing about the anti-Putin protests in Yerevan is that it was not officially organized or joined by any of the opposition parties represented in the Armenian parliament. “Does this mean that the parliamentary opposition forces are not overtly against joining the customs union?” asks the paper. “Maybe it is wrong to draw far-reaching conclusions, but their conspicuously passive stance on the protests gives one reason to at least make such a presumption.”

(Tigran Avetisian)
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