Speaking to “168 Zham,” Arthur Martirosian, a Boston-based Armenian analyst, insists that Armenia’s deepening relations with the European Union “does not contradict Russian interests in any way.” He says that any Russian attempt to impede those ties would only whip up anti-Russian sentiment in the country. Russia should therefore take a “neutral stance” on the EU-Armenia framework agreement which is due to be signed in November, he says. “Anything that does not threaten its interests and benefits its strategic partner and ally should be approved by Moscow,” adds Martirosian.
“Aravot” says that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s criticism of the EU’s Eastern Partnership program raised more questions about Russian reaction to the upcoming EU-Armenia deal. “It remains unclear what kind of an agreement it is and what consequences it should have for Armenia in relation to our strategic ally,” writes the paper. It dismisses the Russian concerns over the Eastern Partnership.
“Zhoghovurd” is unconvinced by the Armenian government’s pledge to considerably cut poverty and raise the national minimum wage in the next five years. “On the contrary, the experience of the previous governments shows that [government] programs remain on paper and the same fate most probably awaits this program,” predicts the paper. “They could come up with dozens of excuses such as ups and downs of the global or Russian economy.”
Citing official statistics, “Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that real estate prices in Armenia went down sharply in May. In particular, the paper says, they hit a five-year low in Yerevan. It says that this trend is fraught with additional lending risks for Armenian commercial banks, which often use private apartments and houses as loan collaterals.