“Zhamanak” is unconvinced by government assurances that Armenia’s Association Agreement with the European Union will be finalized by the end of this year. “Although Armenia is rapidly moving forward in negotiations related to that, Russia is already slowing down the process with its powerful truncheon,” claims the paper. It says the fact that the secretary of Russia’s Security Council, Nikolay Patrushev, and the secretary general of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), Nikolay Bordyuzha, visited Yerevan during President Serzh Sarkisian’s trip to Poland was not a coincidence.
“168 Zham” notes that Bordyuzha on Wednesday defended the latest sale of Russian weapons to Azerbaijan and said Armenia has no reason to complain about Russia when it comes to military cooperation. “Russia is stating in the most simple terms that Russian-Armenian relations cannot take precedence over Russia’s business interests,” comments the paper. “The main aim of doing business is to make profits, something to which any other consideration -- in this case Russian-Armenian relations -- is subordinated.” It says Yerevan could have retaliated against the Russian arms supplies to Baku by demanding that the Russian military pay for its basing rights in Armenia. But the Armenian leadership has no desire to stand up to the Russians, it says.
“Hayots Ashkhar,” meanwhile, says Armenia should address concrete demands to the European Union. The paper believes that Yerevan should demand that the EU ensure the opening of the Turkish-Armenian border before the Association Agreement with Armenia is initialed. “If that does not happen then any talk of European values will become meaningless,” it says. The pro-presidential daily also thinks that Armenia should continue seeking closer “partnership” with the Russian-led Customs Union.
In an interview with “Aravot,” Artur Baghdasarian, the secretary of Armenia’s National Security Council, disputes the Audit Chamber’s claims that as much as 70 percent of Armenian budgetary funds may be misused or wasted by various government agencies. Baghdasarian criticizes the chamber’s annual report submitted to the National Assembly recently, saying that it was “full of political evaluations.”