“Zhoghovurd” finds unconvincing assurances by Robert Nazarian, the head of the Public Services Regulatory Commission (PSRC), that Armenian regulators will continue to determine domestic gas tariffs in Armenia. The paper says Nazarian’s claims run counter to key terms of a recent agreement signed by the Armenian government and Russia’s Gazprom monopoly.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” stands by its view that membership of the Russian-led Customs Union will deal an “irreversible blow” to the Armenian economy. “After joining the Customs Union, Armenia will find itself in a closed economic space which is separated from the world economy by an iron curtain,” writes the paper. “That closed space is protected by high import tariffs. The purpose of that is to give domestic manufacturers a competitive edge, make them produce more goods and thereby develop the economy. The Soviet Union was guided by the same model … But world experience has showed that attempts to develop economies in this way are doomed to failure.”
Artak Zakarian, the chairman of the Armenian parliament’s committee on foreign relations, tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that international mediators should be more critical of Azerbaijan in their reactions to the recent escalations of tensions in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “Azerbaijan is now torpedoing ceasefire monitoring on the line of contact, refusing to withdraw snipers, and opening fire at civilians and even kindergartens in [Armenian] border villages,” says Zakarian. “This testifies to the fact that there is serious concern in Azerbaijan over the Artsakh [peace] process and that military adventure is seen there as the only way of avoiding it.” The mediators should therefore openly state that Azerbaijan is primarily responsible for the lack of progress in peace talks, says Zakarian.
“Zhamanak” says that the public in Armenia is “passive” these days not only because it is disillusioned with political forces but also because it does not relate to “issues that are now raised in Armenia.” The country’s political discourse is irrelevant to the concerns and needs of ordinary Armenians, claims the paper.