“Haykakan Zhamanak” lists what it calls serious dangers emanating from the prolongation of Russian military presence in Armenia and especially the upgrading of its role and status. “That [Russian] military base, the Russian-Armenian strategic partnership has already been one of the pillars of Armenia’s security doctrine,” writes the paper. It is worried that the Russian troops are now about to get “governance functions.” “Ensuring national security is the number one task of Armenian state bodies and the Russian base command’s participation in the accomplishment of that task is becoming an irrefutable and legally confirmed fact,” the paper says, adding that this would turn Armenian security ministers into disproportionately powerful officials.
“Aravot” says Armenians may have reason to be worried about the possible sale of Russian S-300 missiles to Azerbaijan but they should not be angry with Moscow. “Armenia’s strategic partnership never promised not to sale weapons to the neighboring country,” argues the paper. “Even if it did, we would still have no levers to bring it to task. Russia is certainly our friend. We just need to be prepared to be let down by that friend at any moment.”
Emergencies Minister Armen Yeritsian assures “Hraparak” that he will not use his position to further the agenda of the pro-government Orinats Yerkir party which he joined recently. “I have said that I have banned any talk about the party, about any party work within the ministry from 9 am to 6 pm,” says Yeritsian. “That is, everyone must mind their business.” He says the Emergencies Ministry is too important an agency to be distracted by partisan propaganda. Yeritsian also denies reports that he arbitrarily sacked many ministry employees after taking office earlier this year. It’s just that some of them have quit the ministry after realizing their incompetence, he claims.
In an interview with “Zhamanak,” sociologist Aghasi Tadevosian predicts that Armenians will continue to emigrate from their country because of “the absence of demand for qualified people.” “For example, a very talented and famous singer in Armenia has a much lower status than some uneducated but very rich businessman, who may also become a parliament deputy and do lots of other things,” says Tadevosian. “So an unequal situation has been created in Armenia. The phenomenon emerged during the [Levon] Ter-Petrosian era and took a structural shape during [Robert] Kocharian’s rule.”