(Saturday, September 13)
“Zhamanak” continues to express its disappointment with the Armenian government’s decision to join the customs union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan and thereby kill its Association Agreement with the European Union. The paper says that unlike the authorities in Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia Yerevan failed to withstand Russian pressure.
“Within just two weeks Armenia presented itself to the world in a ridiculous state, to put it mildly,” writes “168 Zham.” “After negotiating with the EU for four years it decided to join the Customs Union, after which it expressed a desire to sign the Association Agreement only to be rebuffed by Europe.”
“We do not want to realize that the ‘Europe-versus-Asia’ dilemma is closely connected with the 25-year Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” writes “Hraparak.” “A country locked in a territorial dispute and remaining at war cannot have a liberal economy and a high degree of democracy, human rights and free enterprise. If you want to incorporate Karabakh you have to reach out not to Europe, is which averse to territorial conflicts, but to Russia, which has similar problems with its neighbors and is in a state of permanent war with them. In other words, in this case our national-patriotic aspirations are at odds with our desire to become a developed country.” The paper believes that sooner or later Armenia had to make a choice. “We have to choose either democracy and prosperity or Karabakh,” it says.
Citing the Armenian constitution, “Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” says that President Serzh Sarkisian is not allowed to single-handedly decide whether Armenia should join the customs union or sign the Association Agreement. The paper claims that such a decision must be put on a national referendum even if it is rubber-stamped by the Armenian parliament and the Constitutional Court.