“168 Zham” reveals shock speculation that oligarch Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia party will be formally led by none other than Victor Dallakian, an outspoken opposition lawmaker. Dallakian is said to have told a “very narrow circle” of friends that he his leadership of the party will be announced next May or June. Dallakian also allegedly stated that he owes nothing to the opposition Artarutyun alliance of which is a prominent member.
Opposition leader Aram Sarkisian, meanwhile, ponders on prospects for a “revolution” in Armenia in an interview with “Haykakan Zhamanak.” He assures the paper that the political situation in Armenia is “revolutionary” indeed, citing a paralysis of electoral institutions and the regime’s plans to accept an unpopular solution to the Karabakh dispute. “If such a situation is not revolutionary, then I don’t what situation can be considered revolutionary,” he says.
“Aravot” quotes an Artarutyun spokeswoman as denouncing opposition politician Shavarsh Kocharian for his public attacks on the opposition bloc. Ruzan Khachatrian says the Artarutyun leadership has not received any written statements from Kocharian about the suspension of his membership in Artarutyun and thinks it wrong to “raise issues with the alliance through the media.” “They are not different from [Prosecutor-General] Aghvan Hovsepian,” Kocharian is quoted as responding. “He too has not received any statements and is not investigating violations committed during the referendum.”
“It is already clear that Russia has adopted a new policy on the countries of the region,” “Hayastani Hanrapetutyun” writes, commenting on the surge in the price of Russian natural gas sold to former Soviet republics. “Its relationships with those countries are undergoing a serious transformation. Moscow is no longer willing to be a donor for the economies of other countries, demanding a gas price close to the market-based level.” The government paper believes that this will allow Armenia and other ex-Soviet states to pursue similarly interest-based policies towards their former Soviet master.
“Hayots Ashkhar” claims that the Russians may announce a further drastic increase in the price of gas supplied to Georgia if the latter continues its pro-Western policy. It says they may even stop gas supplies to Georgia and Armenia altogether. “In the economic sense, that would create problems for both countries. But in the social sense, it is Georgia that would suffer more.” Armenia would simply be unable to export any electricity to Georgia, explains the paper.