In an interview with “Zhamanak,” Armen Kharazian, a former Armenian diplomat based in Washington, says Armenia will no longer be viewed as a truly independent state by its foreign partners after President Serzh Sarkisian’s decision to join the Russian-led customs union. “This means that if they manage to solve [relevant] issues with Russia there will be no need to ask Armenia because Armenia is subordinating itself to the customs union,” he says. “They will talk to those countries that can coerce Armenia.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” quotes the British ambassador in Yerevan, Jonathan Aves, as saying that Armenia’s relationship with the European Union has an uncertain future. Aves says that “at this point nobody knows what the next steps will be” in EU-Armenia dealings.
“Aravot” says that Armenia opted for the customs union because “we need tanks more” than hi-tech goods manufactured in the West and Asia. “This is certainly an unpleasant reality,” editorializes the paper. “But we must not lose hope and declare that this is the end of the world, that we must give up independence. Life goes on.”
Interviewed by “Hraparak,” Ashot Aghababian, a parliament deputy from Sarkisian’s Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), casts doubt on the credibility of fraud accusations leveled against Colonel Volodya Avetisian, the organizer of recent months’ street protests by veterans of the Karabakh war. “I can’t imagine him doing such a thing,” he says. “I don’t believe that a man of his caliber could do that.” Aghababian also says that Avetisian did not politicize his campaign for a sizable increase in state benefits paid to the veterans.
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” criticizes the Armenian government for borrowing $700 million through Eurobonds and thus further increasing Armenia’s foreign debt. “In the last five years [Prime Minister] Tigran Sarkisian has borrowed, naturally with Serzh Sarkisian’s consent, more than twice as much as was borrowed [by the previous governments] in the previous 17 years,” writes the paper. “This is the money that will have to be paid by future generations … Tigran Sarkisian does not ask for anybody’s opinion before taking fresh loans.”