(Saturday, May 17)
“Hraparak” says that Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian has been in office for just over a month but has already won plaudits “from all sides” despite having done little in practical terms. “Yes, the Ararat-born prime minister knows how to deal with people,” comments the paper. “He may not be good at giving philosophical lectures or have friends and relatives in Europe. Nor does he speak several foreign languages. But he can tell people what they want to hear. That is no mean feat. This is what the former prime minister [Tigran Sarkisian] lacked.”
“Zhamanak” claims that the only area where Abrahamian and his cabinet have outdone their predecessors is the number of individuals with notorious nicknames among them. “It would be more accurate to say that those people have simply come to the fore now because they have always been in the government ranks,” writes the paper. With Tigran Sarkisian and other “intellectual cadres” now discredited, they are now free to do what they want, it says.
“Zhoghovurd” accuses Russia of resorting to “gas blackmail” against Armenia and says Yerevan is doing nothing about it. The paper cites Deputy Energy Minister Areg Galstian as saying that the construction of a new power transmission line between Armenia and Iran has been suspended because of international sanctions seriously complicating Armenian-Iranian banking operations. It speculates that supplies of Iranian natural gas to Armenia could also be halted soon. “Iranian gas will not be supplied because Russia is compelling Armenia to buy only Russian gas at prices set by Moscow,” it says.
“Hayots Ashkhar” quotes Davit Babayan, the spokesman for Karabakh President Bako Sahakian, as saying that the Karabakh status quo is not necessarily a bad thing. Babayan disputes international mediators’ belief that it is not sustainable and is becoming increasingly dangerous. “They have been saying for 20 years that the status quo is not sustainable, but the truce is largely holding despite some border incidents,” he says. “Furthermore, any change of the status quo is fraught with unpredictable consequences. In the existing situation it is much more beneficial for everyone not to take drastic steps.”