Ahead of the possible meeting on December 1 in Paris between Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev politicians and experts think that one should not have high expectations, because in the long run Armenia does not have a partner for peace negotiations.
For about two weeks now that the campaigners of “Yes” and “No”, divided into “northern” and “southern” groups, have been traveling around Armenia presenting their views on the draft constitutional changes before the public as part of a new reality show on TV.
Despite the late fall outside, the greenhouse of Karen Avagyan is full of spring mood. Avagyan is the only farmer in Armenia who is growing aloe, adapting the originally desert plant to Armenian conditions.
The “Yes” and “No” campaign is still going on in Armenia’s December 6 constitutional referendum, meanwhile, many political forces still do not have their campaign posters, and the boards for political ads continue to remain unoccupied in Yerevan.
The draft 2016 State Budget, which has been under discussion in Parliament this week, received harsh criticism from the opposition, who said that the government confessed that Armenia will be poorer next year. The government’s member in charge of finances said that having lack of funds they had made no cuts in public spending, but there is not an opportunity to increase salaries and pensions.
This week Parliament debated the government-submitted draft amendments to the law of Armenia on Administrative-Territorial Division, which implies that a communities enlargement pilot project must be applied in three provinces.
The strengthening of Russian-Iranian ties suggests new geopolitical changes in the region. Experts believe that the new energy cooperation between Russia and Iran would bring the prospect of new foreign-policy relations in the South Caucasus, including in regards with Armenia, which is the only member country of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) that borders on Iran.
The four-year-long civil war in Syria has also left a mark on the 50,000-strong Armenian community of Aleppo, as a result of which nearly half of the Armenians have left the city and the country, others are concentrated in the north of the country and Damascus.
A new program on Armenia’s Public Television called Triangle, which was launched on November 6 and is run by Armen Ashotyan, deputy chairman of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (RPA), Minister of Education and Science, is strongly criticized by the opposition Armenian National Congress (ANC), who claim that the program violates the principle of equality in the referendum campaign that commenced the same day.