(Saturday, December 17)
“168 Zham” reports that the European Union’s legislative body, the European Parliament, has given the green light for the scrapping of EU visa requirements for the citizens of Georgia and Ukraine. “Along with Georgia and Ukraine, Armenia was included in the EU’s Eastern Partnership program and rapidly headed to an Association Agreement with the EU,” comments the paper. “So what the European Parliament has done about Georgia and Ukraine could and should have also applied to Armenia had there been no [Armenian foreign policy U-turn in] September 2013 … If Armenian citizens too had been granted visa-free travel to the EU, they would have opened their eyes and realized that the world does not start and end with [the Russian cities of] Krasnodar and Vladikavakaz.”
“When former Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian was appointed as head of the Eurasian Economic Commission there were some expectations that he will act to further Armenia’s interests in the Eurasian Economic Union,” writes “Zhoghovurd.” “Tigran Sarkisian will soon mark the first anniversary of his appointment but there is no visible positive change.” The paper claims that Armenia has drawn no economic benefits from its membership in the EEU despite sharp rises in Armenian exports to Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan recorded this year. “True, the Russian economy is in decline. True, global economic trends are on the whole negative. But the fact that Armenia has the worst indicators in the EEU is the fault of officials representing Armenia in that structure and Tigran Sarkisian in particular.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that the prices of some foodstuffs in Armenia have shot up on the eve of the New Year’s and Christmas holidays. The paper blames the price hikes on soaring consumer demand which in turn results from “the Armenian tradition of celebrating the New Year at excessively abundant dinner tables.” “It is bordering on mass hysteria,” it says.