“Zhoghovurd” quotes Gagik Yeganian, the head of the State Migration Service, as saying that Armenia’s impending accession to the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) will not encourage more Armenians to emigrate to Russian for economic reasons. Yeganian said on Thursday that membership in the EEU will actually have opposite effects on out-migration. The paper is not convinced by these assurances, arguing that Yeganian has long downplayed the gravity of the problem for Armenia. It sees no connection between the out-migration and Armenia’s geopolitical affiliations, saying that the root causes of the problem are inside the country.
Interviewed by “Hayots Ashkhar,” Hovannes Sahakian, a senior lawmaker from the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), comments on opposition plans to convene an extraordinary session of the National Assembly in an effort to push through major voting reforms. Sahakian says that the three opposition parties that are pushing for those amendments are keen to distract their supporters from serious differences existing among them.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” says that the downing of the Armenian military helicopter near Nagorno-Karabakh last week reignited heated debates between pro-Western and pro-Russian pundits in Armenia. “The pro-Western elements blame Russia because the helicopter was struck by a Russian-manufactured rocket, while the pro-Russians lay the blame on the West because the West has not strongly condemned the incident,” reports the paper. “The helicopter was indeed shot down by a Russian weapon. But it’s not that the Armenian helicopter was manufactured in Yerevan. True, as always, the West came up with fuzzy statements. But not because of Azerbaijani ‘caviar diplomacy’ or because they don’t like the Armenians. One should simply realize that we are perceived in the West as Russia’s strategic ally or almost a Russian appendage, whereas Azerbaijan’s strategic ally is NATO member Turkey.”
“Aravot” derides Armenian commentators demanding various kinds of retaliatory strikes against Azerbaijan after the downing of the helicopter. “Obviously, we have to be prepared for war, but that does not presuppose alarmist or bellicose statements,” editorializes the paper.
(Hovannes Shoghikian and Lusine Musayelian)