Speaking to “Aravot,” political analyst Stepan Grigorian claims that Armenia might still again change its foreign policy and seek deeper European integration through the Association Agreement with the European Union. “There is always a chance to turn the wheel backwards,” he says. “The fact that the Armenian prime minister held negotiations in Moscow testifies to that. He clearly tried to explain to Moscow that the Association Agreement with the EU does not carry any dangers for Russia or Armenia. As far as I understand, Russia doesn’t agree with this. But that’s a different matter. There is a very small chance of Armenia changing course.”
“Zhamanak” criticizes continuing nationalist protests in Yerevan against a controversial Armenian bill on gender equality. The papers says forces and inviduals involved in this campaign had better focus on far important issues facing the country: corruption, human rights abuses and oligarchic rule.
“168 Zham” notes the participation of several priests in those protests, saying that it could have been considered normal had representatives of the Armenian Apostolic Church been similarly vocal about other, more pressing problems. “Our church and clergy are almost indifferent to dozens of phenomena that have been physically and morally corrupting our society,” writes the paper. “With a few exceptions, it is hard to recall cases where clerics protested, for example, after ten people were killed in Yerevan on March 1, 2008. The clerics are silent when murderers backed by the government are released from prison. They are also silent during scandals involving high-ranking churchmen.”
“Zhoghovurd” says the Kremlin will almost certainly react to a controversial open letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin that was sent by Armenian writer Zori Balayan last week. The paper says this reaction will help observers to understand whether Balayan wrote to Putin on his own or simply carried out an order issued by the authorities in Yerevan or Moscow. “In any case, there is one good thing about this letter,” it adds. “It turned out that there is no public consensus even on the most important issue, Karabakh.”