“Zhamanak” links the deadly bomb attacks in Brussels claimed by the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) with the bloody conflict in Syria. “This means that international security … continues to be shaky,” writes the paper. “And this fact is attracting attention in Armenia, which is very close to that hotbed of international instability. It is only adding to challenges facing us in the Karabakh conflict.”
“Yesterday’s terrorist attacks in Brussels caused greatest enthusiasm among some Russian circles,” editorializes “Aravot.” “Given the Russian people’s commendable ability to be compassionate and feel others’ pain, there is no way the majority of [ordinary] Russians like bloodshed. Some pro-Russian elements in Armenia are following their elder brother’s example.”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” claims that the Armenian authorities will falsify next year’s parliamentary elections “in one way or another.” “That is a matter of life or death for them,” explains the paper. “They will rig the elections at any cost. If need be, they will cut off electricity in all polling stations, steal ballot boxes, beat up observers on the spot and arrest those who will resist them.” It says that the authorities are keen to make their new Electoral Code seem legitimate in order to prevent the opposition from proving vote rigging, while the opposition is trying to make it possible for the ruling regime to “eliminate traces of the crime.” “The consequence of this situation is widespread hopelessness,” concludes “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.”
“Zhoghovurd” reports that President Serzh Sarkisian has awarded a state medal to his brother Levon, who runs a charitable foundation. “Of course, some may say that it does not matter that Levon Sarkisian received the medal from his elder brother if he really deserves it,” says the paper. “Such an assertion would have been appropriate had the public not watched during Serzh Sarkisian’s rule his relatives quickly become multimillionaires and been confident that that has nothing to do with Serzh Sarkisian’s being president. It is ridiculous to even imagine such a thing. That is why a shadow is cast on Levon Sarkisian’s possibly well-deserved award.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that the new head of the State Revenue Committee, Hovannes Hovsepian, has banned shadowy firms from acting as intermediaries for small and medium-sized importers of goods to Armenia in their dealings with the national customs service. The paper says that many goods imported by them are now stuck at Armenian border crossings because of this supposedly anti-corruption measure.