Commenting on the trial of opposition leader and editor Nikol Pashinian, “Hraparak” writes: “One can only commiserate with trial prosecutor Koryun Piloyan and judge Mnatsakan Martirosian who are going to have to prove something that can’t be proved and to set a punishment for Pashinian by committing a crime against their conscience … They are servants of this regime and have to act within the bounds of orders issued from above. In this case, our society should direct its message to those who issued that order.”
“Aravot” says the Armenian authorities will improve the country’s standing abroad if they free Pashinian and all other “political prisoners.” “The more developed and democratic our state is, the more claims we will be able to claim,” editorializes the paper. “In that sense, today’s trial of Nikol Pashinian is a test case of sorts. Keeping a person behind bars for his political views means dealing a direct blow to the state.” The paper asserts that the release of the oppositionists will not destabilize the political situation and put the authorities in greater danger.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” disputes Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian’s claim that the reopening of the Turkish-Armenian border would deal a blow to economic monopolies existing in Armenia as it would make easier for smaller businesses to transport goods to and from Armenia. The paper argues that large companies too would see their transportation costs decline in that case. “This arithmetic will perhaps become evident to Tigran Sarkisian when the border is opened,” it says. “Maybe the prime minister will then confess that the monopolies are not at all the result of closed borders. The monopolies are meant to let Serzh and Tigran Sarkisians to get their hands on and then retain their posts. Had it not been for the monopolies, they would have been elsewhere now.”
Barsegh Beglarian, a wealthy businessman who owns one of Armenia’s largest fuel importing companies, assures “Hayots Ashkhar” that Armenians should not be worried about potentially negative consequences of border opening. He compares these worries to fears that existed at the start of the 1988 popular movement for Armenia’s unification with Karabakh and its push for independence from the Soviet Union. “But life has proved that that was the right path,” says Beglarian.