“168 Zham” sees a connection between President Serzh Sarkisian’s September 3 pledge to join the Russian-led customs union and the creation the following day of a presidential commission tasked with drafting constitutional amendments that could prolong his rule beyond 2018. The paper speculates that Sarkisian secured Russian support for those changes as “compensation.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian on Wednesday refused to answer journalists’ questions about Armenia’s membership of the customs union, which he has opposed in the past. “Everybody knew that he is against that membership and was convinced until the end of last week that Armenia will sign the Association Agreement with the EU,” writes the paper. It wonders if the premier will resign in protest against Serzh Sarkisian’s decision.
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” says that Armenia lost much of its sovereignty years before Sarkisian’s U-turn. “Armenia has been losing its independence for the past 15 years, every day and every hour,” claims the pro-opposition paper. “Armenia has been losing its independence with rigged elections followed by expressions of gratitude for Russian support, the equities-for-debt scheme, the handover of all strategic enterprises to Russia and so on … So on September 3 Serzh Sarkisian simply formalized the results of his and Robert Kocharian’s joint 15-year work.”
“Aravot” says the authorities must finally and clearly explained the benefits of the country’s planned accession to the customs. “What factors forced them to change their position?” the paper writes in an editorial. It is pessimistic about hearing answers to these questions, saying that they simply do not feel that they are accountable to Armenians.