“Zhamanak” reacts to Energy Minister Levon Yolian’s Thursday remark that Russia may yet agree to lower the price of its natural gas delivered to Armenia. Yolian said that such a price reduction would make Russian gas cheaper for not only Armenia’s gas distribution network but also individual consumers. The paper highly critical of Russia claims that Yerevan is not really negotiating with Moscow on the gas tariff and is only “quietly” waiting for the Russians to grant a price discount requested by the Armenian side.
“Zhoghovurd” says that fresh anti-government rallies planned by the New Armenia Public Salvation Front will be even more poorly attended than the protests that were staged by the radical opposition grouping in December. “Those increasingly small rallies have long stopped being a [major political] factor, and by failing to see this and carrying on with the same tactics the leaders of this opposition force are doing the authorities a great favor,” comments the paper. “Of course, we are not calling on them to give up and end their struggle. But how long can they continue making the same worn-out statements from the same worn-out podium and through the same worn-out leaders?”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that President Serzh Sarkisian will fly to Washington later this month to participate in a global nuclear security summit organized by U.S. President Barack Obama. “Diplomatic sources say that the countries co-chairing the OSCE Minsk Group -- and the United States in particular -- are saving no effort to organize a meeting between Sarkisian and [Azerbaijani President Ilham] Aliyev on the sidelines of the summit.” The paper suggests that Sarkisian’s visit to Moscow last week was “probably not accidental.” It expects more serious ceasefire violations in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone in the days ahead.
“Stalinism is not dead, Stalinism remains alive across the former Soviet Union,” “Aravot” writes in an editorial. “To be honest, any government has an element of Stalinism because its members aim to cling to their posts. As for what they do for that purpose, it depends not on rulers’ being kind or evil but on the nature of a political system and society [governed by them.] But only in totalitarian and post-totalitarian country do leaders fret over their jobs so hard they can barely think about other things. Only in those countries is the society not immune to Stalinism.”