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“Zhamanak” says that the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) may be a shallow structure but it helps Russia advance its interests in former Soviet republics. The paper wonders how Russia will try to influence decisions to be made at Friday’s CSTO summit in Yerevan. “The thing is that the summit will take place in a geopolitical environment where Russia’s differences with the West have become more acute and, it can be said, entered a new phase,” it says. The paper is worried that Moscow may draw its CSTO allies, including Armenia, into its standoff with the United States and the European Union. “One factor gives us some hope: broadly speaking, such a prospect is not beneficial for any CSTO member except Russia,” concludes “Zhamanak.”

“Zhoghovurd” brands Prime Minister Karen Karapetian as “a representative of Russia’s Gazprom” and says that President Serzh Sarkisian hopes Karapetian’s appointment will create “positive expectations” among Armenians. The paper claims that Levon Ter-Petrosian, a former president leading the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK), nullified Sarkisian’s efforts on Thursday with a short statement that accused the authorities of leading Armenia to an “economic disaster.”

“We can already conclude that Ter-Petrosian dealt a serious blow to Sarkisian’s plans,” continues “Zhamanak.” “Why? If the country is indeed on the brink of a ‘default’ and this is the reason for that statement, then Ter-Petrosian could have asked Serzh Sarkisian for another audience to discuss the existing situation -- something which he already did in February 2015 in connection with a declaration on the genocide [centennial.] He made another such attempt when he met with Serzh Sarkisian during the April war [in Nagorno-Karabakh] … The fact that he is now making such a statement aimed at destabilizing the internal situation in Armenia suggests that the authorities have breached some agreements [with Ter-Petrosian’ HAK.] At least, the HAK’s poor showing in the recent local elections is a food for thought.”

“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” says that weekly cabinet meetings in Yerevan are increasingly fun to watch, with Prime Minister Karapetian going out of his way to please the public. “And that is working out quite well,” writes the paper. “But this is only a superficial impact. In terms of substance, what the new prime minister is doing is called shock therapy and clearly it is the people who will feel the effects of that shock on their skin.”

(Naira Bulghadarian)

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