“Zhamanak” reacts to Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s announcement in Yerevan on Tuesday that Russia will not raise the price of its gas for Armenia next year. He said that the price was due to go up in 2018 in line with an agreement reached by the Armenian and Russian governments earlier. The paper claims that the agreement revealed by Medvedev amounts to a “gas scandal.” “The Armenian authorities have kept that prospect secret just like they had done before,” it says.
“Zhamanak” recalls that the authorities revealed a hitherto unknown rise in the Russian gas price in the wake of Armenia’s last presidential election held in 2013. “Huge debts were incurred as a result,” it says. “The authorities concealed that fact and repaid the debts by selling their remaining 20 percent share in the ArmRosGazprom [gas distribution network.] Furthermore, when Prime Minister Karen Karapetian was asked in December 2016 about the possibility of a higher gas price after the [April 2017] parliamentary elections he ruled that out.”
“Serzh Sarkisian is getting on Ilham Aliyev’s nerves,” “Haykakan Zhamanak” writes in a commentary on the Armenian president’s speech delivered at a meeting with senior military officials in Yerevan on Tuesday. “It is evident that he is pursuing a concrete goal in the process. What goal? It is hard to tell now. But there is no doubt that there is some logic behind his actions. Sitting down with Aliyev for negotiations and then talking about what they agreed on means precipitating Azerbaijan’s decision to abandon those agreements. It also means prodding Azerbaijan to prove, with practical steps, that no agreements will be implemented, which is what we have seen after [the October 16 Aliyev-Sarkisian meeting in] Geneva.”
Sarkisian said on Tuesday that he is surprised by Azerbaijani officials’ negative reactions to his statements made right after the Geneva talks. He said he is looking forward to meeting Aliyev again and asking the Azerbaijani president why he did not like them. For “Haykakan Zhamanak,” this “looks like mockery.”