“France, which is probably Armenia’s biggest sponsor in the West, has hardly political interests in that trip,” “Haykakan Zhamanak” writes ahead of Jacques Chirac’s arrival in Yerevan. “Which of course is not true for Armenia. For Armenia, especially after some recent setbacks suffered in the international arena, Jacques Chirac’s visit could mean serious support in both political and economic senses. But by visiting Armenia, Chirac only temporarily changes the balance in France’s relations in Armenia’s favor because a few months later the French president will visit Azerbaijan as well.”
“Iravunk” describes the visit as “more than important.” “During it the ground will be prepared for solving many, many issues,” speculates the paper. “The fact that the French president attached importance to a deepening of the Armenia-EU relations by means of a deepening of French-Armenian relations makes it clear that Paris intends to occupy new positions in the region in the geopolitical sense.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” says the Armenian genocide issue is one of the elements of the EU’s “tactical game” with Turkey. “The European Parliament is not abandoning its demand for the recognition of the Armenian genocide,” says the paper. “But it is guided by a tactic that will allow it to keep Turkey … under European monitoring pressure.” Hence, the EU’s reluctance to set genocide recognition as a precondition for Turkey’s accession to the bloc.
“Aravot” editorializes that branding one’s political opponents “foreign agents” is a ploy widely used by the governments around the world. “Seriously speaking, the only country with which we have serious problems is Azerbaijan,” says the paper. “Being in a de facto state of war with us, that country is naturally interested in clinching information about Armenia’s security system. And the Armenian who passes such information on to our rival is really an enemy and a criminal. All other talk of agents and spies is pure political propaganda. Even the fiercest criticism of the government does not undermine the foundations of the state.”
“Hayastani Hanrapetutyun” attacks opposition parties that announced on Thursday the launch of an “anti-criminal movement.” The paper says their leaders are already looking for support abroad. “But the oppositionists have not managed to win over the disgruntled domestic electorate, have they? They have only disappointed [the people.]”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” continues to discuss the reported visit to Armenia by Vyacheslav Ivankov, a reputed Russian crime figure nicknamed “Yaponchik.” The paper claims that among the passengers of the Armenian Airbus A-320 that crashed last May were close friends of Ivankov’s who carried a large amount of cash belonging to the Russian mafia. “In order to solve that issue, Yaponchik met with Armenian Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian,” it says.