“Aravot” continues to advance its argument that Armenia’s “former leaders were not forgiven many things that now don’t draw the slightest attention” of the public and the press. “Who can explain why [former interior minister] Siradeghian’s house was a thorn in everybody’s eyes, while the public doesn’t raise eyebrows at Serzh Sarkisian’s and [National Security Minister] Karlos Petrosian’s villas,” the paper writes. “Maybe we have become accustomed to that,” it notes with alarm.
“Iravunk” seems to agree with that conclusion, saying that gone are the days when top government officials were hiding their wealth and posing like modest citizens. The paper reports that the press service of the national security ministry (former KGB) refused to respond to its inquiry about sources of funding for Petrosian’s Yerevan mansion. “Hopefully, in the interests of Armenia’s national security,” “Iravunk” comments tartly.
“Yerkir” scrutinizes the differing tactics of the authorities and the opposition. The authorities, it says, cite only “objective factors” to justify their failings to the disgruntled body politic. The opposition goes to the other extreme, totally ignoring those factors in its fierce criticism of the government. Both tactics of political struggle are unacceptable to most Armenians.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” voices disbelief at the government’s claims that some 91,000 foreigners have visited Armenia this year. The figures are based “on a false methodology of calculations,” according to the pro-opposition daily. And even if they were credible they would not bear out Robert Kocharian’s predictions of a tourism boom.
“Nobody believes in the deepening of integration among the CIS countries, and such programs do not seem to exist,” “Aravot” writes in an editorial on the tenth anniversary of the loose grouping of twelve former Soviet states. “The Commonwealth continues to exist mainly by inertia.” The CIS will not disintegrate for some time not least because the 1992 Collective Security Treaty is vital for some ex-Soviet states, including Armenia.
“Hayots Ashkhar” paints a rosier picture. It says the CIS is marking its tenth anniversary in an atmosphere conducive to the strengthening of mutually beneficial cooperation among its members. But the paper admits that serious obstacles still stand in the way of their economic integration.