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Press Review


“Zhamanak” assumes that during his visit to Moscow President Serzh Sarkisian was supposed to convince Russian President Vladimir Putin that his domestic and foreign policy steps do not contradict Russia’s interest. “Domestically, it is, of course, the readjustments within the government and in terms of foreign policies, the matter concerns the new negotiations with the European Union. Of course, another key issue is the economic situation, which in the case of Armenia is practically near a catastrophe. And in Moscow Sarkisian either is going to ask for some economic assistance, perhaps also trying to ensure a decrease in the natural gas prices, or will ask Moscow’s permission for projects on deeper economic ties with other countries.”

“Zhoghovurd” writes that Russian military expert Alexander Khramchikhin’s article in Russia’s Voenno-Promyshlenniy Kurier paper reveals some top secret information on the military forces of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. Khramchikhin, in particular, reveals how army corps and units Armenian forces have, what they are for, where they are located, what military-command structures they have and what types of weapons they possess. “If even 10 percent of that information were published by some Armenian journalist or serviceman, he would have been convicted for high treason. It is clear that that amount of such information could not appear in Russian media without the ‘information assistance’ of the Russian Defense Ministry and the instruction of the country’s political leadership. And the fact that it was published on the eve of Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian’s visit to Moscow is an occasion for great concern.”

“Aravot” continues to assess the new draft Electoral Code. The daily’s editor writes: “The government’s proposal to limit the number of journalists and observers at polling stations, I think, is a nervous reaction to the fact that there were an unprecedented number of video recording devices at polling stations during last year’s constitutional referendum and the “main heroes” ensuring the result [for the government] were too frequently appearing online. I want to try to make Armenia’s authorities understand one simple thing: if a media outlet is a side in a political struggle, if journalists are in reality political activists or figures, if instead of covering one event or another, including elections, they become their participants, there is nothing terrible about that. This is the display of people’s civil activity that one cannot struggle against with bans and restrictions. Especially today, during the age of computer and online technologies. Of course, there should be a barrier between journalism and non-journalism. But it is unlikely to be the thing that bothers our authorities. Also, I don’t think that it is the authorities’ job to deal with it. This is up to us, the journalists.”

“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” writes: “According to the declaration of incomes and property that [President] Serzh Sarkisian submitted to the Ethics Commission on High-Ranking Officials, he and his wife Rita Sarkisian have a deposit of 203 million drams (more than $410,000) and are paid an interest for that. The question is not that Serzh Sarkisian lends money at an annual interest rate of 12.8 percent while the country he leads itself borrows money from others. The question is how a man who has occupied only public offices during all his entire life has managed to accumulate such a sum of money.”

(Tigran Avetisian)

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