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Press Review


(Saturday, October 17)

“Haykakan Zhamanak” comments on the news that Armenia’s former prime minister and current ambassador to the United States Tigran Sargsian will be appointed head of the Eurasian Economic Commission: “This appointment is a surprise only at first glance. From April 2014 when Tigran Sargsian unexpectedly resigned as prime minister till he got the diplomatic appointment there was some talk about his possible appointment to some Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) post. But this is not the point. Tigran Sargsian’s appointment as head of the Eurasian Economic Commission is remarkable from another point of view. The former prime minister regularly spoke against Armenia’s membership in the EEU and put forth convincing arguments to substantiate his position… So, why did the EEU leaders decide to entrust the position to a person who had repeatedly spoken against Armenia’s being a member of the EEU? While opposing Armenia’s membership, Sargsian also spoke in favor of a single currency in the EEU. Add to this that Sargsian played a major role in the introduction of Armenia’s currency, the dram, in Armenia and managed to create in Armenia perhaps the most successful banking system in former Soviet countries. In other words, Sargsian’s appointment is the start of a process of introducing a single EEU currency.”

“Zhamanak” also focuses on Sargsian’s upcoming appointment to the top executive post in the EEU. Under the headline “Armenia Entering New Filtration Stage”, the paper writes: “This was, indeed, a very unexpected decision that is evidence that Tigran Sargsian gets an opportunity of actively influencing domestic political life in Armenia, in other words, an opportunity to intervene in the intra-government struggle in the country. Thus, as it appears, the ‘government filtration’ this time could be tougher and even crueler than that in the opposition field.”

“Zhoghovurd” makes a remarkable prediction: “During the past one year in Armenia the public remembers Tigran Sargsian only in the context of a notorious offshore scandal and no one, especially the political opponents of the former prime minister could not even imagine that he would not only so quickly return, but do so in the capacity of head of the Eurasian Economic Commission, with [Russian President] Vladimir Putin’s special approval. So, what purposes does this triumphant return of Tigran Sargsian pursue? It is clear that he could not have been appointed to that post without [President] Serzh Sarkisian’s guarantees. Hence, again making [current Prime Minister] Hovik Abrahamian inferior to Tigran Sargsian with this appointment, Serzh Sarkisian is making a very specific reshape of domestic politics, whose end goal may have relation to the statement made by Sarkisian in September according to which he knows ‘who the next leader of Armenia will be’.”

“168 Zham” writes: “In fact, Washington is a springboard for Armenian officials for making a Eurasian Union career. In reality, the problem is not in the personality of Tigran Sargsian. He was named for that post by the leadership of Armenia. He, of course, could have declined this generous offer, at least invoking his seemingly being pro-European. But no, why decline a job that has been created in order to satisfy Vladimir Putin’s imperialist ambitions?”

“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” writes: “National Assembly Chairman Galust Sahakian made an address to media on Armenian Press Day, in particular, saying that it is the difficult and responsible mission of media to make the voices of citizens and the State clear to each other.” The paper comments sardonically: “This is, indeed, a difficult mission because if the voice of the State comes from Galust Sahakian’s mouth, it is almost impossible to make it clear to the citizens. And making citizens’ voice heard to the government is impossible altogether, because offensive language is prohibited in media.”

(Tigran Avetisian)

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