“Zhoghovurd” reports on Russian parliamentarians’ calls for Moscow to annul a 1921 Russian-Turkish treaty that essentially set Armenia’s current borders with Turkey and, in part, Azerbaijan. The two State Duma members affiliated with the Russian Communist Party have said that such a move could discourage more Turkish “provocations” against Russian troops in Syria. They have also expressed confidence that Armenia would welcome it. The paper says that the initiative, if approved by the Kremlin, would have “extremely dangerous” consequences for Armenia. “Russia is thereby trying to blackmail Turkey at the expense of Armenia,” it says.
“Aravot” claims that because of its very close ties with and dependence on Russia Armenia is unable to capitalize on the lifting of international sanctions against Iran in order to step up Armenian-Iranian cooperation on energy. “The Iran sanctions have been lifted, and it is obvious that Russia cannot impede, let alone scupper, multimillion-dollar contracts between Western nations and Iran,” says the paper. “It means that it is Armenia that primarily suffers from the ‘benefits’ of the Russian monopoly in the region.”
“Armenia’s public debt has officially passed the $5 billion mark,” writes “Zhamanak.” “Never before has Armenia had so much debt.” The paper says that most of the foreign loans obtained by Armenian governments have not been efficiently used for stimulating the country’s economic development. No officials have been held accountable for that, it says.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says that a further drop in international oil prices on Tuesday quickly put the Armenian dram under strong pressure, leading the Central Bank of Armenia (CBA) to sell more than $15 million in hard currency to prevent drastic exchange rate fluctuations. “Judging from indicators publicized by the CBA and information coming from commercial banks, there has been a shortage of dollars in our currency market in recent days,” it says.