“The Russians do not want to extradite their criminal. But is anybody apart from the Armenian public demanding that from them?” asks “168 Zham.” The paper argues that the Armenian authorities have still not officially asked Moscow to hand over Valery Permyakov, the main suspect in the Gyumri family massacre.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” reacts to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s strong condemnation of perceived attempts to “politicize” the Gyumri killings. The paper says that the thousands of people who took to the streets of Gyumri last week did not politicize the tragedy or make any anti-Russian statements. “There was and there is no talk of kicking the Russian military base out of Armenia,” it says. Nevertheless, it says, Armenian officials and pro-government politicians are now warning the protesters of extremely negative consequences of Russian military withdrawal from Armenia.
“What is that to do with the popular outburst?” continues the pro-opposition daily. “The issue has been politicized by Armenia’s authorities because they feared political consequences when making all of their decisions.”
“Worsening relations with the West seem to be making [Azerbaijan’s President Ilham] Aliyev more aggressive on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, which is resulting in Armenian casualties,” “Zhamanak” says, commenting on the latest escalation of fighting in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone. The paper says that “as always” the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) is silent about these truce violations. Instead, it says, the CSTO secretary general, Nikolay Bordyuzha, phoned Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian this week to discuss the fallout from the Gyumri killings. The paper portrays this fact as further proof that the CSTO “has nothing to do with Armenia’s security.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” claims that the Armenian Defense Ministry has banned the mayors of Armenian border villages from briefing the media on the security-related situation in their communities. The paper questions the legality of that ban which it says is apparently supposed to withhold important information from Azerbaijan. “But the Armenian public has the right to receive full information about the situation on the Armenian-Azerbaijani line of contact … in order to understand what the authorities are planning to do about the situation,” it says.