“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports on an “unpleasant incident” involving Eduardo Eurnekian, the Argentine-Armenian owner of Armenia’s main international airport, that occurred this week. “When Eurnekian was about to board his personal jet on his way out of Yerevan, he was found to possess a Beretta pistol during the customs check,” says the paper. “The pistol, however, had no documents. Interestingly, it was gilded and had a diamond-encrusted inscription that read, ‘To Eduardo Eurnekian from Gagik Tsarukian.’” The paper says no criminal case was opened in connection with what it regards as an illegal arms possession.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” also quotes Ashot Aghababian, an influential member of the Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), as rejecting speculation that it was effectively “bought up” by Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian. “Serzh Sarkisian has made a great contribution to the establishment of our state,” he says. “He perfectly understands what the HHK is and what weight it has. As for buying the HHK, the party is not a material tangible thing. It’s not something you can wrap and buy. The Republican Party is not for sale.”
“Zhamanak Yerevan” says oligarch Gagik Tsarukian has asked President Robert Kocharian to spare him the need to admit Justice Minister David Harutiunian and Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian into the ranks of his Prosperous Armenia party. “Tsarukian’s request was granted,” the paper says, citing an anonymous source. “Thus the political future of the ministers extremely dear to Kocharian’s heart remains uncertain.”
“Zhamanak Yerevan” also quotes the “Iravunk” editor Hovannes Galajian as saying that he has spotted in downtown Yerevan one of the two men who allegedly attacked him last week. “Either he was checking my vigilance, or was trying to show that lawlessness is totally unlimited for them.”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” tries to explain the recent upsurge in violence against Armenian journalists. “The explanation is very simple,” it writes. “All other spheres --- the state apparatus, security structures, the economy, the education system, culture etc. --- are under full government control. The opposition is divided and harmless. Only a few media outlets continue to resist and refuse to cut deals with the authorities. And that creates a lot of discomfort for the authorities.”