“Zhamanak” continues to slam the Armenian and Russian authorities for their response to Monday’s brutal killing of six Armenians in Gyumri which it says triggered Thursday’s violent unrest there. “In effect, this is proof of our state impotence,” the paper says, referring to the fact that the Russian soldier accused in the massacre remains in Russian custody contrary to provisions of a 1997 Russian-Armenian treaty. “It shows that the Armenian authorities are simply unable to perform functions which are their legal duty.”
“Aravot” dismisses Russian and Armenian officials’ calls for not “politicizing” the killings, saying that Gyumri residents are right to demand that the murder suspect be placed under Armenian jurisdiction. “People want to see the issue solved on the legal plane,” it says in an editorial. “But they are told, ‘You have no right to express such a wish because you are a vassal nation.’”
“Citizens of the Republic of Armenia have concrete questions and must receive concrete answers to those questions, rather than be tricked or fooled,” writes “Haykakan Zhamanak.” In particular, the paper says, the authorities must explain whether they plan to seek the suspect’s handover and why he was caught and arrested by Russian border guards, and not the Armenian police.
Interviewed by “Hayots Ashkhar,” political scientist Alexander Iskandarian responds to some Armenian activists’ calls for the withdrawal of the Russian military base from Armenia. “Imagine that Armenia severs ties with Russia, Russian President Vladimir Putin once again visits Baku and signs arms supply deals with Mr. [Ilham] Aliyev worth not $4 billion but $40 billion,” says Iskandarian. “What would we do? How would we sustain the shaky military balance in the [Karabakh] conflict zone? Could we stay in the arms race imposed by Azerbaijan?”
“Russian-Turkish relations are clearly warming up,” writes “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.” “Russia is saying that it will export gas to Europe via Turkey, rather than Ukraine. And that means long-term cooperation [with the Turks.]” The paper warns that an increase in anti-Russian sentiment in Armenia would give Moscow the excuse to make anti-Armenian concessions which it says will be sought by Ankara. It claims that Moscow may already be fuelling such sentiment in the wake of the Gyumri tragedy.