“Hayots Ashkhar” believes that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Yerevan should disprove pessimism about the future of the Russian-Armenian partnership. The paper says a growing number of Armenians feel that Russia “does not always take into account Armenia’s interests.” “This belief grew further amid positive changes in the Russian-Azerbaijani relationship and Turkey’s overtures to Russia resulting from its worsening relations with the United States.” The paper says Russia and Armenia have too many common interests to stop needing one another.
But “Aravot” takes a far more critical look at Russia and its leadership. “Putin’s Russia is hardly different from the Soviet Union. Unlike Gorbachev and Yeltsin, Putin does not think that his people must be given freedom so that they can create good thins,” editorializes the paper. “Nor does he believe that the European liberal values are applicable to Russian soil. Putin is also sure that a huge country like Russia can only be an empire or a superpower. We do not think that such a mentality is good for us Armenians.”
“Since Russia’s future is now considered unpredictable, the West is looking for alternatives in things like transport of fuel,” writes “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “In that regard, our interests utterly correspond to the West’s interests. But Armenia is very likely to once again make a decision going against its own interests and allow the Russians to control the Iran-Armenia pipeline.”
In a separate commentary, “Haykakan Zhamanak” says the Armenian opposition believes that it failed to topple Robert Kocharian due to a lack of Western support and that the West is not interested in regime change in Armenia because of the Karabakh conflict. “The opposition is waiting for support, hoping that emissaries from the United States would like to meet with them to discuss details of regime change. And if Western emissaries run late, our opposition will again be ready to trust Russian emissaries.”
“168 Zham” reports that the Armenian police have been instructed to look into the activities of ministers and other senior government officials affiliated with the Republican Party of Armenia (HHK). The paper claims that they are tasked with collecting “discrediting material” that will be used for tempering the HHK leaders’ expectations from the upcoming local elections and reducing their overall influence in government.