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(Saturday, October 15)

“Aravot” downplays Armenia’s failure to have an Armenian official installed as secretary general of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) during a summit of the Russian-led defense bloc held in Yerevan on Friday. The paper argues that the CSTO’s main mission is to “cater for Russia’s interests” which increasingly contradict those of the United States. It is also concerned about a list of “terrorist” organizations which was agreed by the leaders of CSTO member states at the Yerevan summit. It says this move is part of Russia’s efforts to discredit all armed groups fighting against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, including those backed by the U.S. Moscow is drawing its ex-Soviet allies, including Armenia, into its geopolitical confrontation with Washington, concludes the paper.

“Zhamanak” wonders who scuttled the appointment of an Armenian secretary general of the CSTO this time around. “Is [Kazakh President Nursultan] Nazarbayev’s absence from the summit the reason for that?” asks the paper. “Were Russia and other CSTO members angered by [former Armenian Defense Minister] Seyran Ohanian’s statement that he does not want to become CSTO secretary general? Or did Serzh Sarkisian not nominate a better candidate for that post and did he therefore decide to put the issue on hold?” The paper also suggests that Yerevan itself may have avoided picking the next CSTO secretary general at this juncture because of Russia’s standoff with the West over the conflict in Syria and other issues.

“Hraparak” reports that Prime Minister Karen Karapetian on Friday publicly sought to console an elderly woman who called him out as he got into his limousine in Yerevan. “Karapetian turned back, approached the woman, warmly hugged her and said ‘all right,’” says the paper. “Our high-ranking officials have grown so detached from reality that we now have two parallel realities: we and they.”

(Artak Hambardzumian)

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