“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” is worried about Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remark that Armenia and Azerbaijan are inching closer to a peace agreement on Nagorno-Karabakh. The paper speculates that the current period of intensive negotiations could actually be followed by “even more bloody” fighting around Karabakh. “That is much more likely that the singing of a peace accord,” it claims.
“Zhoghovurd” says that tensions along the Karabakh “line of contact” rose in October after Russian media reported that Lavrov presented the conflicting parties with new peace proposals. The paper says that unlike Azerbaijan, Armenia denied at the time the existence of such proposals. “There were never any denials by the Russian side,” it says. “The four-day war [in Karabakh] in April happened after that … And now that Baku speaks positively of Lavrov’s latest visit to Azerbaijan it’s hard not to be worried.”
“Hraparak” reports that the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) has decided to endorse Gyumri’s incumbent Mayor Samvel Balasanian in municipal elections that will be held in Armenia’ second largest city this fall. The HHK will not only back but also nominate Balasanian’s candidacy in the polls. “For various reasons, his candidacy was not being approved [by the HHK leadership] for quite some time,” writes the paper. “The HHK’s Gyumri branch was particularly opposed to him. In the end, they opted for a lesser evil.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” continues to dismiss official statistics indicating continuing economic growth in Armenia. The paper argues that the growth figures for the first five months of this year contradict a modest rise in the Armenian government’s tax revenue reported in the same period.