“Zhamanak” dismisses the official rationale for a 10 percent increase in the electricity price in Armenia, which was formally approved by the Public Services Regulatory Commission (PSRC) on Tuesday. The paper believes that Armenians should not be made to pay for the losses incurred by the Russian-owned national electricity distribution network as a result of its “inept management.” “Who is going to close the spending gap of ordinary citizens?” it says.
“We still do not understand how the electricity tariff is determined,” “Aravot” writes in an editorial. “The Electricity Networks of Armenia is supposedly a private company. But it is clearly not engaged in commercial operations because it has no competitors. Its revenue is guaranteed, there are no [business] risks, and there is an ‘independent’ commission what satisfies its whims.” The ENA’s financial troubles is not sufficient grounds for charging Armenians more for electricity, says the paper.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” says the ENA’s Russian parent company, RAO Unified Energy Systems, and the Gazprom giant do not care that the gas and electricity price hikes are hitting many in Armenia hard. “For them it’s merely business and doing business means making as much profit as possible,” writes the paper. “Russia is doing pure business with Azerbaijan as well by selling it offensive weapons,” it says. “Armenia cannot hamper that.”
“Zhoghovurd” is unconvinced by the official line that the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) does not react to truce violations on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border because Armenia does not ask it to. The paper says Yerevan’s stance runs counter to Armenian pro-government politicians’ and officials’ implicit assurances that membership in the Russian-led Customs Union will make Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh more secure. “It is evident that Azerbaijan has no intention to stay silent and will not allow its allies -- Kazakhstan, Turkey and even Belarus and our ‘strategic partner’ Russia -- to do the same,” it says. “So in the case of the CSTO, there is no guarantee that this [Armenian] silent regime will work. On the contrary, the opposite scenario is becoming more and more likely.”