Ashot Manucharian, a prominent Armenian politician, discusses Russia’s latest moves in the South Caucasus, in an interview with “Aravot.” He claims Russia is worried about “losing Armenia” because of Yerevan’s growing ties with the West and thinks that the Armenian leaders have proved “very ungrateful” for the crucial Russian support which he says they received in 2007 and 2008. Manucharian links that perception with the “very dangerous” sale of S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Azerbaijan reportedly planned by Moscow.
“Armenia has weapons which, using military terminology, play a restraining role within the framework of Armenian-Azerbaijani relations,” says Manucharian. Azerbaijan will “neutralize” those weapons if it gets holds of S-300s and the Russians are well aware of that, he adds, calling their actions a “blackmail.” “If Russia takes that step, it will become the only serious guarantor of Armenia’s security,” he speculates.
“Hraparak” reacts to National Security Council Secretary Artur Baghdasarian’s recent remark that Armenia’s border security and infrastructure “do not meet international standards.” “When such a statement is made by the leader of an opposition party, that is normal,” writes the paper. “But when it is made by the secretary of the Armenian president’s National Security Council, that is a scandal, an evaluation of the country’s security systems.” It says Baghdasarian was quoted by his office as making diametrically opposite statements on Tuesday during an inspection of Russian border-guard facilities on the Armenian-Turkish border. “Armenia’s borders are reliably protected,” he said.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” sees similarities between Soviet and Armenian state institutions. The paper says in particular that Armenia’s government-controlled parliament is a rubber-stamp body. It says the National Assembly’s sole difference from the Soviet legislatures is that it is dominated by “oligarchs,” rather than factory and farm workers.
“Armenian officials and the majority of Armenian politicians have a mental illness,” editorializes “Aravot.” “If somebody dares to point out one of their drawbacks, it means they execute an order. Indeed, why would anyone decide to say anything bad about unstained individuals like our rulers and the flawless work done by them?”