(Saturday, March 22)
“Zhamanak” challenges the recent statement by President Serzh Sarkisian that Armenia is more secure today than it was five years ago due to its current international relations and “types and quality of allies”. “Ironically, this statement is made at a time when the U.S. ambassador to Armenia voices regret over Yerevan’s position on the events in Crimea, when Ukraine recalls its ambassador from Yerevan and threatens to sever relations with Armenia, when Armenia’s number one and, possibly, only ally Russia has found itself in international isolation and is subjected to international sanctions,” the daily observes.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” sees a threat in the position of Russia on Ukraine also to Armenia. “A careful observer would notice that on the processes in Crimea Russia has completely disregarded all of its international obligations assumed towards Ukraine in the past 20 years, including the guarantees of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and the recognition of Crimea as part of Ukraine… The problem [for Armenia] is that if Russia is going to deal with its neighbors in this manner, then it can be ten times as rude to Armenia. So the enthusiasm of the Armenian political elite in this sense is baffling. Is anyone at all concerned that Russia may forget all of its international obligations towards Armenia as well?”
David Babayan, the press secretary of the Nagorno-Karabakh president, dismisses accusations that the celebrations in Stepanakert on the occasion of Crimea’s referendum diminish the process on the recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh’s independence. In an interview with “Hayots Ashkhar” the official says: “Why did they [pro-Western critics] not accuse us of diminishing the declaration of Nagorno-Karabakh’s independence or supporting one geopolitical center or another when we marked the referendums on the self-determination of South Sudan and Kosovo? Is it because Crimea decided to join Russia? Unlike them we do not discriminate between Russia and the West.”
“168 Zham” sees the “de-politicization” of the protest movement against an unpopular pension reform in Armenia as an “obvious encouragement” by the government. “To this testifies the recent appeal by Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian addressed to the civic initiative. Lavishing words of praise about civic initiatives, the prime minister welcomed the fact that they prefer not to get “politicized”. In other words, the government is in favor of any protest movements as long as they remain “depoliticized”. This alone is enough to finally realize that in this matter the government can be forced to do something only due to political logic and a set of political instruments,” the newspaper concludes.