“Zhamanak” says nobody doubts that the pro-government majority in the Armenian parliament will swiftly ratify legislation needed for completing Armenia’s accession to the Russian-led Customs Union. “The Armenian parliament is not used to questioning any step taken by Serzh Sarkisian,” writes the paper. “Unless, of course, that is needed by Serzh Sarkisian. But the situation here is different. It is the will of Russia, rather than Serzh Sarkisian, which is at work. If Serzh Sarkisian says that that document should not be ratified the parliamentary majority, Prosperous Armenia, Dashnaktsutyun and [Levon Ter-Petrosian’s] HAK will ratify it. Because for this parliament, Serzh Sarkisian is president only inside [the country] but, broadly speaking, he is only an intermediary between them and Moscow.”
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” says Customs Union membership will affect domestic political developments in Armenia. “In effect, Armenia has previously also been within the Russian orbit,” writes the paper. “But at least on the face of it, it sought to gravitate towards Europe and had to implement some reforms, pretend respecting human rights and democratic freedoms and so on. There is not much need for that now.”
“168 Zham” reports that the office of Armenia’s state human rights ombudsman, Karen Andreasian, has released a new report highly critical of the authorities. “The essence of this report is that there is no system of justice in Armenia,” says the paper. “Court rulings are solely based on bribes and there is no public confidence in the judicial system as a result.” The paper says Andreasian’s office simply affirmed a widely recognized fact. Even President Sarkisian has acknowledged that Armenians do not trust courts. The ombudsman’s report is therefore unlikely to make any difference, concludes “168 Zham.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” sees “qualitative” improvements in the situation with human rights in Armenia. In particular, the paper says, there has been a marked increase in the number of Armenians who are not only conscious of their rights but ready to fight for them in the streets. “All this suggests that the authorities are much more tolerant towards these developments and on the whole fulfill their obligations relating to freedom of speech and assembly and human and civil rights,” it says.
“Hraparak” suggests the Armenian government sought to thwart Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s forthcoming visit to Yerevan with its harsh criticism of Ankara voiced through Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharian on Monday. The paper scoffs Kocharian’s statement, saying that the demands addressed to Davutoglu could have hardly been more unrealistic.