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“Zhamanak” reports that the presidents of Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) member states again failed to appoint an Armenian official as the Russian-led alliance’s secretary general when they met in Saint Petersburg on Monday. “This appointment has been postponed for a third time since 2015,” the paper says, dismissing official explanations for the delays. It suggests that either Armenia is unwilling to accept conditions set by other CSTO member states or the latter are unwilling to see an Armenian run the organization. “Actually it’s very good that Armenia does not take over the post of CSTO secretary general … because the Armenian authorities should have long renounced membership in that structure or agreed to stay in it on very concrete military-political conditions relating to the CSTO’s position on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” it says.

“Haykakan Zhamanak” sees attempts by some Armenian political actors to make Karabakh the central theme of the unfolding parliamentary election campaign. The paper points to former President Levon Ter-Petrosian’s speech at a recent congress of his Armenian National Congress (HAK) party and former Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian’s negative reaction to it voiced on Monday. “This is certainly a good example of political debate, and everything would have looked wonderful had it not been so artificial,” it says. “In fact, by entering into a debate with Ter-Petrosian, Seyran Ohanian does not challenge Serzh Sarkisian’s and the [ruling] HHK’s position. Furthermore, some of his comments mirror those of the ruling party.”

“Ongoing developments revolving around the Karabakh conflict are more than worrisome,” Davit Shahnazarian, a former politician and senior government official, tells “Aravot.” In particular, he says, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko signed a pro-Azerbaijani joint statement on Karabakh with his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev when he visited Baku late last month.

“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” comments sardonically on the recent decisions by the Public Services Regulatory Commission (PSRC) to lower the prices of natural gas and electricity in Armenia. The paper says that the price cuts are too modest to improve the socioeconomic plight of the population.

(Tigran Avetisian)

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