“Zhamanak” notes that the 10 percent rise in the electricity price in Armenia coincided with the World Bank’s decision to disburse a $40 million loan that will be used for upgrading Armenian power distribution facilities. “Is the World Bank aware of the situation in the Armenian energy sector and what the Armenian government is doing to improve that situation?” the paper asks with skepticism.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” wonders what will happen if Armenia joins or refuses to join the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan. The paper claims that membership in that alliance would mean a loss of Armenia’s sovereignty, higher prices of imported goods and Russian pressure to make territorial concessions to Azerbaijan. “In return, Armenia would be insured against external and in particular Turkish threats; Armenian migrants would feel well in Russia; and so on.”
Failure to join the EEU, continues “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun,” would lead to much higher prices of gas and electricity and plunge more people into poverty. “As for the Karabakh issue, the likelihood of war would drastically increase. We can wage a successful war against Azerbaijan, even if Russia secretly helps them. The West would most probably not allow Turkey to take steps against an Armenia that has renounced Russia. So the choice is very stark: are we ready to give up our sovereignty and humiliate ourselves for the sake of some vague security or to somehow survive for two or three years? If we survive it will mean that we have earned our right to independence once and for all.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” reports that Russia is wooing Azerbaijan just as its troops stationed in Armenia are holding military exercises. “This is not a warning to Baku but a signal to those forces that have not yet forgotten the Bosnian scenario used in the Balkans,” writes the paper. “In any case, Azerbaijan will not start a war without some external guarantees. So this is a warning to those who might hope that Russia would not able to resist a Balkanization of the South Caucasus. In the meantime, the West is doing everything to strip Russia of possibilities of resorting to its beloved military diplomacy in the South Caucasus.”