“Aravot” is not surprised that the 20th anniversary of the adoption of Armenia’s Declaration of Independence “did not become a serious event.” “The president and the prime minister, who incidentally was a member of the first [post-Communist] parliament, attached importance to the anniversary from their height,” the paper says in an editorial. “Oppositionists gathered outside Sarian’s statue [in Yerevan,] the chairman of the Constitutional Court read out a scholarly report, and a group of [former] deputies assembled at Ruben Torosian’s initiative. What should have united all these groups? The answer is obvious: the state. But that didn’t happen.”
“Forty-five of the 250 members of the legitimately elected transitional parliament of 1990-1995 are not with us anymore,” continues “Aravot.” “About 20 others are abroad. Fifteen former deputies are in such a social or physical condition that they are unable to participate in the celebration of the declaration anniversary.”
Lragir.am reports that Armenia’s ministers of defense and education declared on Thursday that “the state, the army and Christianity” must be the main pillars of life in the country. “But if a person is not a Christian or simply a believer, can’t he feel a part of this life?” asks the online journal. “And if the state does not perform its basic functions, is it worth defending it? On the other hand, the ministers can not propose to base the state on something that would shake the foundations of the existing system, can they? After all, it is no secret that the existing system ensures welfare, security and equality for people of a certain circle, and that doesn’t apply to others. So it is better [for the government] to invent an amorphous slogan, whose realization is difficult to verify.”
“One should look not at the text of the Russian-Armenian [defense] agreement but the overall political course,” political analyst Manvel Sargsian tells “Zhamanak.” “Thus, Russia’s capabilities are increasing. We can’t tell how that country will behave towards us, whether or not it will solve issues at our expense. The important thing here is how Armenia will behave. Our country’s behavior has a very big influence on the situation, on whether or not Russian can bypass the factor of Armenia. In recent years, Armenia has taken some steps to prevent Russia from taking any decision it wants. But that is very little.” Sargsian believes that the Armenian authorities’ “euphoria” over new Russian security guarantees is misplaced.
Former Defense Minister Vagharshak Harutiunian tells “Iravunk” that the amendments to the 1995 Russian-Armenian defense treaty will “drastically change the geopolitical situation in the region in Armenia’s favor.” “With that signed agreement, Armenia did not assume any new obligations,” argues Harutiunian. “On the contrary, it’s Russia that committed itself to ensuring our security at a great expense.” The retired army general challenges critics of the deal to suggest alternative options of guaranteeing Armenia’s security.