(Saturday, December 3)
“Zhamanak” claims that Russia stands in the way of closer relations between the United States and Armenia as it comments on President Serzh Sarkisian’s phone conversation with U.S. Vice President-elect Mike Pence. The paper stands by its view that Armenia has ceded much of sovereignty to Russia, including through its membership in the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and new defense agreements signed with Moscow this year.
“Zhoghovurd” reacts to an official statement saying that Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian on Friday presented Sarkisian with a report on the Armenian Foreign Ministry’s “achievements” and tasks related to international organizations. “The official statement leaves the impression that it is about an Eastern European state, rather than a country standing on the brink of war,” writes the paper. It accuses Nalbandian of wasting time and government funds with visits to “various exotic countries.” “Over the past year there have been so many setbacks in Armenian foreign policy that there should have been no talk of any achievements,” it says.
Interviewed by “Hraparak,” Zaruhi Postanjian, an opposition parliamentarian, lists conditions for her Zharangutyun (Heritage) party’s accession to opposition alliances that could be formed in the run-up to the April 2017 parliamentary elections. Postanjian says that such an alliance should come up with a “clear-cut agenda, time frames and actions.” That should first and foremost include a hard line on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, including the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic’s formal recognition by Armenia and the rejection of any territorial concessions to Azerbaijan, she says.
“Aravot” reports that dozens of private travel agencies in Yerevan selling air tickets are facing closure. “The managers of air travel agencies think that the government’s programs full of promises do not match its actions,” writes the paper. “On the one hand, the government is promising a level playing field for entrepreneurs. On the other hand, it is causing small and medium-sized businesses losses with decisions creating monopolies.”