“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that the Russian-Georgian border crossing at Upper Lars, heavily used by Armenian importers and exporters, has been shut down due to a heavy snowfall. The paper says that such “seasonal” closures of that mountainous road undermine Armenia’s supposedly “common economic area” with Russia and other members of the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).
“Zhoghovurd” says that few have taken seriously President Serzh Sarkisian’s recent calls for increasing Armenia’s population to 4 million by 2040. “That Armenia’s population will not rise to 4 million in the next 23 years is also asserted by international structures,” writes the paper. “International structures have their own methodology of [demographic] forecasts, putting concrete facts at the heart of their analyses. And those analyses show that even in the distant future Armenia’s population will not reach 4 million. It would be good if the authorities specified calculations on which their statements about increasing the population are based. After all, asking Diaspora Armenians to return to their homeland alone cannot guarantee that. Nor can their populist statements about boosting the birthrate, reducing emigration and prolonging life expectancy be such a guarantee. What Armenia needs is real reforms that are still not materializing.”
“Zhamanak” comments on the rising prices of some basic products in Armenia such as meat, butter and gasoline. The paper complains that official inflation rates calculated by the authorities do not reflect these price hikes.
“Hayots Ashkhar” reflects on local elections that will be held in about 70 mostly rural communities across Armenia on November 5. The paper notes that there is very little coverage of the upcoming polls by the Armenian media. “And that is not a good sign,” it says.