“Zhoghovurd” reacts to Wednesday’s phone talk between Presidents Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin that apparently focused on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “In all likelihood, with this phone conversation the American side tried to emphasize that Russia overestimates its role in the Karabakh settlement process and that nothing will happen unless it is coordinated with the U.S.,” speculates the paper. It says that this as well as France’s efforts to organize the next meeting of Armenia’s and Azerbaijan’s presidents shows that Western powers are concerned about Russia’s pursuit of a “dominant role” in the Karabakh conflict mediation.
“Hraparak” says that Armenian political parties are already getting ready for parliamentary elections expected in April next year. The paper says that it is still too early to say which of them will manage to overcome public apathy and attract many voters. It dismisses as a fraud recent opinion polls released by government-linked pollsters. “Rest assured that they are lying, resorting to manipulations and putting pressure on the public,” it tells readers. “Things are unclear even within the parties … Even within the ruling HHK, which wields many power levers, there is serious acrimony between election falsifiers and the authors of the new Electoral Code.”
Citing Armenian government data, “168 Zham” reports that more than 13 percent of real estate transactions carried out in Armenia in May were aimed at providing commercial banks with collaterals needed for obtaining loans from them. The total number of such transactions rose sharply in the same period. “It means that there was a considerable increase in the number of people or families who take the most extreme step to solve their socioeconomic problems: pawn their properties and take loans at astronomical interest rates. And these collateral deals have nothing to do with the mortgage market.”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” reports that Armenia’s Public Services Regulatory Commission (PSRC) on Wednesday fined a small hydroelectric plant owned by Suren Khachatrian, the controversial governor of the southeastern Syunik province, 1 million drams ($2,100) for violations of its operating license. The paper downplays the fine, saying that Khachatrian’s firm and many other businesses owned by government officials deserve much more severe penalties.