“Zhamanak” dismisses as a “theater” Monday’s parliamentary hearings in Yerevan on Armenia’s membership in the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). The paper notes that all political parties represented in the National Assembly except Raffi Hovannisian’s Zharangutyun (Heritage) indirectly or directly voiced support for that membership. “This suggests that nobody needed the hearings and their aim was to give the [accession] treaty [with the EEU] a public resonance and legitimacy.”
Alexander Arzumanian, a former foreign minister and currently an opposition deputy, tells “Aravot” that Armenia will have to “cater for Russia’s interests” after joining the EEU. “We started doing that even before joining the EEU, after the annexation of Crimea,” he says. “As you remember, we were forced to vote, along with a number of rogue states, in Russia’s favor [at the UN General Assembly.] We are going to have more such discrediting votes. Russia … is increasingly playing with Armenia’s reputation. We also cease to be a reliable partner for our Western partner, thereby reducing possibilities of attracting investments and deepening bilateral relations.”
By contrast, Khosrov Harutiunian, a parliament deputy from the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), defends membership in the EEU, in an interview with “Hayots Ashkhar.” “The fact is that Russia has its strategic interests in the South Caucasus and the Middle East and will not give up those interests,” he says. “Secondly, everything has its price. Regardless of whether Russia is good or bad, sinking or not, it’s a nuclear power with which even big nations have to reckon.”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” predicts that the latest depreciation of the Armenian dram will quickly push up the cost of living in the country. The paper points out that Armenia is heavily dependent on imports, including Russian natural gas.
“168 Zham” scoffs at the Armenian Central Bank’s claims that a weaker dram will be good for the country’s economy. The paper argues that the Central Bank had spent the last few weeks and even months shoring up the national currency with sizable dollar injections in the local financial market.