“Haykakan Zhamanak” criticizes the pro-government majority in the Armenian parliament and Gagik Tsarukian’s alliance for rejecting the opposition Yelk alliance’s proposal to form an ad hoc commission that would look into costs and benefits of Armenia’s accession to the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union. The paper claims they realize that any objective inquiry would show that EEU membership is bad for Armenia. “This is probably the reason why no government agency has so far come up with an analysis that would demonstrate the EEU’s positive impact on Armenia’s economy,” it says.
“The ruling majority not only rejected the Yelk initiative but also turned it into a pledge of Armenia’s allegiance to the EEU,” writes “Zhamanak.” “Armenia is due to sign an agreement with the European Union in November. In advance of that development, official Yerevan seems to be trying to keep things calm for Russia in order to avoid an emergency call [from Moscow] the night before [the signing of the agreement.]”
Ararat Zurabian, a parliament deputy from the Tsarukian Bloc, tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that Yelk did not choose “the right moment” to debate the issue. He too points to the upcoming signing of the Armenia-EU accord. In these circumstances, Zurabian says, a public debate on Armenia’s membership in the EEU could cause “hysteria” in Russia.
“Zhamanak” notes that meetings of Armenia’s National Security Council chaired by President Serzh Sarkisian have been more frequent of late. The paper says that under Armenia’s amended constitution, which will come into force next April, this body will have more powers. It speculates that Sarkisian is now “testing this instrument” amid lingering uncertainty over his political future.