“Aravot” notes that both the government and radical oppositionists are trying to exploit the November 5 anti-government demonstration in Yerevan that ended in clashes with police and mass arrests of its participants led by Shant Harutiunian. The paper says the former are presenting the protest as being part of a “global conspiracy” while the latter claim that Harutiunian has made many Armenians “wake up” and fight for regime change. It says both sides are painting a “distorted” picture of what happened.
“Zhamanak” comments on the controversial pre-trial arrest of Vartan Petrosian, a pro-opposition Armenian comedian who caused a deadly car accident near Yerevan earlier this month. Many opposition politicians, intellectuals and other public figures believe that Petrosian should stay free at least until the end of his forthcoming trial. The paper says that thousands of other, less famous Armenians have also been unjustly kept in pre-trial detention by the police and other law-enforcement bodies. It says that unlike Petrosian, they could not have attracted so much public attention to their fate.
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” sees “complete confusion” in the Armenian government’s current stance on the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “On the one hand, the Armenian authorities seem to hope that Turkey will stay neutral and Russia will not allow Azerbaijan to resume the war,” writes the paper. “On the other hand, special units of the Armenian armed forces demonstratively break up bricks carrying Azerbaijani and Turkish flags during exercises … So the Armenian army, of which Serzh Sarkisian is the commander-in-chief, is sending a message to Turkey and Azerbaijan: ‘We will crush you just like that.’ At the same time Serzh Sarkisian is openly telling Russia, ‘Come and save us; after all, you are our ally.’”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” dismisses the Armenian Central Bank’s decision to cut its refinancing rate, which is aimed at stimulating the Armenian economy. The paper says the measure will fail to produce results anticipated by the authorities.