Interviewed by “Hayots Ashkhar,” deputy parliament speaker Eduard Sharmazanov dismisses as “unserious” opposition claims that President Serzh Sarkisian’s weekend harsh criticism of his government was a pre-election public relations stunt. Sharmazanov says that Sarkisian has never resorted to “shows and PR actions” during his two-decade-long political career. He says there is nothing unusual about the president holding meetings with senior government officials to discuss pressing issues facing the country.
“Aravot” notes Sarkisian’s “disrespectful” treatment of Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian and other officials at the weekend cabinet meeting. The paper quotes Hayk Kirakosian of the non-governmental Armenian Center for the Development of Public Relations, as saying that the president was indeed too rude. Kirakosian also claims that by addressing the prime minister and others by their first names Serzh Sarkisian “simply violated the official etiquette.” “In the civilized world there are rules of government communication that require certain formalities,” he says. “That is, officials should be addressed not by their first names but as ‘Mr. Minister,’ ‘Mr. Prime Minister’ or at least with their first and last names.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian is rumored to be planning to make an important statement on September 21, the day that will mark the 21st anniversary of Armenia’s declaration of independence from the Soviet Union. “Such rumors are spread only by people who are guided by stereotypes,” Levon Zurabian, a top aide to Ter-Petrosian, is quoted as saying. “I would advise them not to be guided by such primitive stereotypes.” Asked by the paper if this means Ter-Petrosian will not say anything significant on September 21, Zurabian replies, “I have already explained.”
“Zhamanak” speculates that military exercises simultaneously taking place in Armenia and Russia are “closely interconnected.” “In order to look vigilant in the eyes of its presumable enemies Russia is also using Armenia’s territory,” writes the paper. It says that the Georgian government on Monday expressed concern about the drills held in the Russian North Caucasus, saying that they are threatening stability not only in Georgia but also the entire region.
Hovannes Igitian, a well-known opposition figure, tells “168 Zham” that Armenia should avoid taking “drastic actions” after the passage of the European Parliament resolution condemning the pardoning of Azerbaijani axe-killer Ramil Safarov. “Sharp steps aimed at taking revenge or giving Azerbaijan a fitting response must be ruled out,” he says. “In this situation we must maintain calm and steer the issue’s resolution into the path desired by us. This will prove that Armenia is a civilized and democratic country whereas Azerbaijan is only imitating its being like that.”