“Zhamanak” accuses Russia of resorting to “military blackmail” to heighten tensions in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and thwart a meeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents. The paper speculates that having underlined its “supremacy over Armenia,” Moscow will now try to take center stage in international efforts to resolve the conflict. It says Yerevan has taken a number of “undesirable and dangerous steps” under Russian pressure in recent days.
“168 Zham” comments on President Serzh Sarkisian’s proposal to open a training center in Armenia for the peacekeeping forces of the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). The paper says the proposal voiced earlier this week has been construed by some analysts as a “first step” towards the deployment of Russian peacekeeping troops in the Karabakh conflict zone. It too sees strong Russian pressure being exerted on Yerevan at the moment.
“Zhoghovurd” says the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) has become so “self-confident” that many of its senior members are now openly saying that Sarkisian could and should remain in government after completing his second presidential term in 2018. The paper is worried that Sarkisian could backtrack on his pledge not to become prime minister in case of Armenia’s transition to the parliamentary system of government.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” continues to contend that Sarkisian is seeking such a radical change of constitutional order for his own interests. “For the sake of his vested interests Serzh Sarkisian is dealing an irreversible blow to the state,” writes the pro-opposition paper.
“Armenia’s foreign [hard currency] reserves are again falling,” writes “Haykakan Zhamanak.” The paper says that they stood at almost $1.65 billion as of late August, down from $1.7 billion in July. It attributes the drop to the Central Bank’s efforts to shore up the Armenian dram with dollar injections in the local currency market.