Interviewed by “Zhamanak,” Yerjanik Abgarian, a veteran politician who held senior government positions in the 1990s, claims that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit completed Russia’s “peaceful annexation” of Armenia. Abgarian says that only one of a dozen Russian-Armenian agreements signed during the visit have been made public so far. The agreement raised from 80 percent to 100 percent the Gazprom giant’s share in the Armenian gas distribution network.
“Hraparak” dismisses government claims that Putin’s trip was a big success for Armenia. “The reason for that is not the few thousand activists who tried to mar the Russian president’s visit with street actions or the failure to sign the Association Agreement with the European Union in Vilnius,” explains the paper. “The reason is the atmosphere before and after the visit, its nature, timing and course.” It also claims that Armenians are no longer “blinded” by pro-Russian sentiment.
Deputy parliament speaker Eduard Sharmazanov makes a case for closer ties with Russia in an interview with “Hayots Ashkhar.” “We need to realize that a small country like Armenia has to be part of either NATO or the [Russian-led] Collective Security Treaty Organization,” he says. “We are no Switzerland, Luxembourg or Sweden. Look at the map. To our east is Azerbaijan, to our west Turkey. Armenia is blockaded by them. Don’t we realize that we remain at war?”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says Armenians should realize that that Russia’s global political and economic clout is grossly inflated by pro-Kremlin media. The paper argues that Russia still lags far behind the United States and other Western nations in terms of Gross Domestic Product per capita. “The world’s biggest country which is richer in natural resources than any other nation is economically weak and impotent,” it says.