“Zhoghovurd” says that President Serzh Sarkisian’s remark that Nagorno-Karabakh is not legally part of Armenia has upset some Armenian political circles. The paper points out, in particular, that former President Robert Kocharian made clear through as spokesman on Wednesday that Karabakh is an “inseparable part of Armenia” and Yerevan’s membership in international organizations must not create any “barriers” between them. “We may be too optimistic but it looks as though Serzh Sarkisian will soon have serious trouble putting his ideas into practice,” it says.
Ararat Zurabian, the chairman of the opposition Armenian Pan-National Movement (HHSh), tells “Zhamanak” that Sarkisian is keen to make Armenia part of a Russia-led bloc in which at least one member state (Kazakhstan) has openly sided with Azerbaijan. “In theory, whenever an alliance is formed its members have to be friendly states that regard each other’s interests as top priorities,” says Zurabian. “But that is not what is happening in our case.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports on a rise in electricity fees planned by the Armenian government. The paper sees no objective reasons for the price hike that will hit hard many Armenian families. “Our energy system is extremely inefficient and simply infested with corruption scams, murky political deals and machinations,” it says. “For instance, no state body has explained so far why the volume of gas imported from Iran is steadily declining. The problem is that Iranian gas is used solely for producing electricity [exported to Iran.]” The paper believes that this swap arrangement is very beneficial for Armenia. It claims that the Armenian government is unwilling to boost Iranian gas supplies because that would mean less gas imports from Russia.
“Hraparak” is alarmed by a number of recent instances of children dying at birth in provincial maternity hospitals in Armenia. The paper views this as a sign of the declining quality of healthcare in the country.