(Saturday, April 18)
“168 Zham” reports that the Armenian parliament held hearings on European integration on Friday just a few months after overwhelmingly ratifying Armenia’s accession treaty with the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). The paper says the very fact of such hearings proves that the Armenian authorities’ decision to join the Russian-led bloc was a serious mistake. It claims that the authorities are now trying to deepen ties with the European Union “as much as that will be allowed by Russia.”
“Zhamanak” notes that the presidents of two EEU member states, Belarus and Kazakhstan, will not arrive in Yerevan on April 24 to take part in official ceremonies marking the centenary of the Armenian genocide in Ottoman Turkey.The paper says that unlike Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan are not presenting themselves as Armenia’s allies and “breaching Armenia’s laws and dignity on a number of issues.” This, it says, is a more honest policy than what the Russians have been doing with regard to Armenia.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that municipal authorities in Gyumri and Yerevan claim to be unaware of plans by Russian troops in Armenia to mark the approaching 70th anniversary of the Soviet victory in World War Two with small-scale military parades in the two cities. “Thus we can conclude that representatives of the Russian military are making statements about holding parades in Armenia without agreeing them with the Armenian authorities,” says the paper.
“Zhoghovurd” comments on growing signs that the price of electricity in Armenia will rise further soon. The paper says Energy and Natural Resources Minister Yervand Zakharian and the head of the Public Services Regulatory Commission (PSRC), Robert Nazarian, have made the point that the Electricity Networks of Armenia (ENA) utility is incurring additional losses because of the recent depreciation of the Armenian dram. It dismisses their argument that a higher energy tariff may be necessary for reversing those losses. The paper argues that the ENA’s $300 million debt was not incurred within several months and that the Armenian authorities have for years done little about the ENA’s obvious mismanagement by its Russian parent company.