“168 Zham” is encouraged by the apparent delay in Armenia’s membership in the Russian-led customs and Eurasian unions. “The later Armenia de jure joins this system of political backwardness and autocracy as an inferior member the better,” writes the paper. But it is upset with the fact that even the Armenian authorities did not know as of Wednesday what to expect from Thursday’s summit in Astana of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus.
“Zhamanak” likewise remains worried about the loss of Armenia’s independence. The paper claims that Armenia can already be seen as a member of the Eurasian Union because that bloc is about a value system, rather than a structure. “Armenia has been [in that system] throughout its two-decade-long independence,” it says. “We, the society, must be conscious of that and not condition our struggle for Armenia’s future by membership in the Eurasian or customs union. In essence, that will not change anything for Armenia because our problems run much deeper. Russian influence on Armenia is very deep and it is not the result of the Eurasian or customs unions.”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” quotes Seyran Saroyan, a retired army general who is now a parliament deputy from the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), as saying that Armenia must stay close to Russia because “we learn only bad things from Europe.” “The Armenian man must be a real man and not wear an earring.” The pro-opposition paper comments scathingly on those remarks. “A real Armenian man must have a parliament seat, businesses, a pot belly, bodyguards and wear no earrings,” it says. “Failure to meet any of these criteria means being partly real.”
“Zhoghovurd” reveals that Armenia’s State Revenue Committee purchased almost 600,000 drams ($1,450) worth of cartridges from a private firm last month. “So [SRC chief and Finance Minister] Gagik Khachatrian is arming his employees,” writes the paper, wondering who the SRC’s enemies are. It suggests that Khachatrian may be keen to crack down on other entrepreneurs or protect businesses owned by him or his relatives.