Trio split or not – opinions


The Armenian National Congress (ANC) and the Prosperous Armenia party obviously have serious tactical disagreements, political scientist Vigen Hakobyan told

Recriminations or messages in the form of statements instead of negotiations means the two parties negotiated their tactics, which did not produce any results.

“I have the impression that the statement by the Political Council of the Prosperous Armenia party was a surprise for the ANC, and it has to provide explanations. Serious tactical disagreements are obvious, which step from their strategic differences,” Mr Hakobyan said.

If the two parties fail to settle their tactical differences in the near future, it may create serious problems.

“The major problem that the Prosperous Armenia party is much more closely connected with the authorities that the opposition forces – both politically, economically and personally. This is the reason for the fundamental disagreement,” he said.

Expert in election technologies Armen Badalyan does not think there is any split.

“The trio is not an alliance. The forces forming it do not have any legal commitments to each other. The trio is a de facto, but not de jure alliance. They did not sign any document on their common position on any foreign political issue or any other issue. An each of them can express its opinion until such a document has been signed,” Mr Badalyan said.


Armenia’s economy minister speaks of possible risks to Armenia’s economy


Armenian Minister of Economy Karen Chshmarityan responded to reporters’ question as to why the risks of Armenia’s accession to the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) have not been allowed for in the 2015 draft budget.

According to him, both legally and professionally such risks are calculated after ratification of agreements.

Mr Chshmarityan does not think that Armenia’s accession to the EEU will entail budget risks.

“Because risks have been allowed for in budget-related matters,” he said.

With respect to Russia’s economy being in crisis, the minister said:

“Statistics shows slight increase in some sectors.”

The impact of accession to the EEU on Armenia’s GDP will be reckoned at the end of this year.

“The ruble showed some stability yesterday. That is, Russia is making steps to improve the situation,” Mr Chshmarityan said.

“The oil prices showed some stability yesterday and the day before as well. We should hope for stabilization for our producers to ensure a niche for themselves. Our manufacturers are receiving assistance,” he said.

Asked about a possible impact of ruble depreciation on Armenia’s budget, Mr Chshmarityan said:

“We can see a 0.4% increase in transfers, and it could be eight to nine percent but for the ruble depreciation. We should also consider the sector our nations are working in. So the sanctions will not affect our nationals at once.”

New French envoy submits credentials to Armenian leader


France’s newly appointed ambassador to Armenia on Tuesday met with President Serzh Sargsyan to submit his credentials, reports the presidential press service.
Congratulating Jean François Charpateau on his new diplomatic appointment, the Armenian leader expressed hope that he will work to the best of his efforts to foster the traditionally developed centuries-old ties between the Armenian and French peoples.
The president told the diplomat that Armenia is interested in maintaining and further developing the close ties and warm relations.
The ambassador, for his part, promised to work to the best of his efforts to make the Armenian-French partnership more dynamic and fruitful.
He said it is a big honor for him to serve in a country with an ancient history and rich spiritual and cultural heritage.

Integration implies tremendous work – minister

Armenian Minister of Economy Karen Chshmarityan welcomes the creation of ministry of international integration and reforms.

According to him, it is a necessity and integration requires tremendous work.

“The task is clear. In terms of function we should differentiate three concepts: foreign economic policy, foreign economic cooperation and economic integration. We have to make certain changes and have a special structure to deal with such issues because six of the 22 workgroups are working at our ministry and must continue their work,” Mr Chshmarityan told reporters.
Armenia has not been forced to create a new ministry.

“Armenia made its choice, which entails consequences.”


Armenian president gives opposition good chance for dialogue – parliament vice speaker


By addressing the opposition’s 12-clause proposal in a recent interview, President Serzh Sargsyan actually gave the political minority a chance for a dialogue, says the National Assembly’s vice speaker.
Speaking to in parliament on Tuesday, Eduard Sharmazanov said he finds that the remark is a good sign demonstrating the authorities’ willingness to be attentive to any proposal voiced by the opposition.
“A key point in the interview is that – and the president mentioned it – our task is to use everybody’s potential to achieve the country’s development. We are in a situation when the political authorities and its leaders have set aside all kinds of personal and party interests regardless of the oppositions criticism. If we want to succeed, we must listen to close colleagues’ opinion,” he noted.
The vice speaker, who represents the ruling Republican Party of Armenia, said the political force remains faithful to the opinion that dialogue is the only possible way to promote positive changes.
Asked whether he sees a popular movement in Armenia, Sharmazanov said he doesn’t think that what is going today can be described as a consolidated and ideological campaign. “There is no such movement in the classical sense of the word, because there are differences in approaches, and the [political forces] hold very different opinions,” he noted.

Government must be ready for challenges – minister


Although Armenia’s government promises 4% economic growth Armenia’s Minister of Finance Gagik Khachatryan admits inaccuracies in forecasts for Armenia’s economic growth, which pose certain risks.

“Macroeconomic indicators related to economic growth, which are calculated by the International Monetary Fund and the Central Bank, pose risks because the economic development concepts our economic development depends on, especially on Russia and Ukraine, contains certain inaccuracies. The uncertainty is showing a downward trend now, and the government is expected to make efforts to meet the challenges,” Mr Khachatryan told reporters on Tuesday.

According to him, the real reason for non-coalition forces’ criticism of the draft budget is political interests rather than faults in the draft budget.

“Parliamentary groups have political tasks,” Mr Khachatryan said.

“We must be ready to deal with inaccuracies and challenges. We must be positive about our actions. We must prevent any problems with macroeconomic indicators and budget revenue,” he said.

With respect to Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan’ statement that the government should revise the opposition forces’ 12 points, Mr Khachatryan said:

“In submitting bills to Parliament we consider economic entities’ opinions. Of importance to us is what is said rather than who says. The president once more proposed that the government discuss with the opposition forces the point that could be implemented. If our aim is economic development, we should not focus on who makes the demands.”

Armenia must be ready to resist consolidated Islamists – expert


Against the backdrop of the current geopolitical processes and the consolidation of Turkish-speaking Islamists, the Armenian society is required to develop the necessary level of understanding to be ready for any situation, says Vardan Khachatryan, a theology professor at the Yerevan State University.
“Currently, as you know, a consolidation process is going on among the Turkish-speaking Islamists. If their upsurge continues every day, they will pose a big threat to Armenia. Many researchers claim today that the encroachments upon Armenia were never [perpetrated] by Islamists. [The insurgent attacks] against Kessab [Syria] were also organized by Turkey; the Islam proper had nothing to do with that. When we say Turkey is the perpetrator, that doesn’t reduce the danger. Armenia has to promote diversity of allies,” he told a news conference on Monday.
The expert said he knows that Russia today has concerns over a possible handover of power to the Islamists in Azerbaijan (which raises the threats for Armenia). “The Russian media propose resolving the Armenian-Azerbaijani problem [conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh] and creating a front, as the handover of power to the Islamists may be sudden and rapid,” he added.