Interviewed by “Aravot,” Khachatur Kokobelian, the leader of the opposition Free Democrats party, calls for a greater public debate in Armenia on the planned Association Agreement with the European Union and its ramifications for Russian-Armenian relations. He says Armenians need to have a better idea of what exactly Armenia would gain from signing or not signing that agreement. “It’s not about the official publication of that document,” says Kokobelian. “It’s about the document’s essence and content … Maybe this confusion is the result of the lack of information.”
Suren Khachatrian, the former governor of Syunik province, assures “Zhoghovurd” that he was not personally involved in last June’s shootout outside his mansion in Goris, which left one person dead and led to the arrest of his son. Khachatrian insists that video of the incident filmed by security cameras was not doctored by him. He says he has no problem with additional forensic tests demanded by the lawyer for the victim’s brother Artak Budaghian. The latter was seriously wounded in the gunfight. Khachatrian goes on to complain that “everybody has been spreading false information about the June 1 incident.”
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” says that a recent series of price hikes in Armenia demonstrate that the authorities have become even more self-confident since the February 2013 presidential election and ensuing street protests organized by Raffi Hovannisian, President Serzh Sarkisian’s main election challenger. The pro-opposition paper claims that Sarkisian and his entourage are keen to redirect public anger with this “plunder” at Yerevan Mayor Taron Markarian.
“Hraparak” says that the post of chief executive of Yerevan’s Malatia-Sebastia district has been vacant for the past two months. The paper claims that the authorities are waiting for a nephew of Samvel Aleksanian, a Malatia-based “oligarch,” to turn 25 in October and thus become eligible for getting the job.