(Saturday, June 7)
“Haykakan Zhamanak” quotes Amanda Paul, a Brussels-based political analyst, as saying that Russia is keen to force both Armenia and Azerbaijan into the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union for geopolitical purposes. As for the Nagorno-Karabakh, Paul believes that “Russia wants neither war nor peace because the status quo is good for it.” “Russia may be trying to create a situation where tension runs so high that the Kremlin can get an international peacekeeping mandate,” she says of recent ceasefire violations in the conflict zone.
“168 Zham” blames Azerbaijan for the continuing skirmishes, saying that Baku is emboldened by a lack of international condemnation of its tactic. The paper says claims that Russia voices no such condemnation because it supplies weapons to Azerbaijan.
“Aravot” is confused by the current state of Armenia’s membership talks with the Eurasian Economic Union. The paper wonders whether Yerevan will succeed in having 800 types of goods imported to Armenia exempted from the union’s high customs duties and whether Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev is “playing his own game” or coordinating his Armenia-related statements with Russia’s Vladimir Putin. It says the question of Karabakh’s status after Armenia’s accession to the union also remains unanswered.
“Zhamanak” reports that Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian’s driver is expanding his luxury restaurant located near Mkhchian, Abrahamian’s native village and place of residence close to Yerevan. The paper portrays this as further proof that Abrahamian is not serious about his pledges to crack down on corruption and not to shy away from targeting individuals close to him.
“Zhoghovurd” accuses another top state official, Mihran Poghosian, the head of the Justice Ministry’s Service for the Mandatory Execution of Judicial Acts (SMEJA), of corruption. The paper argues that the agency’s vehicles are regularly repaired and maintained by a company belonging to Poghosian. “Is this a new mechanism of embezzlement or the cars are so bad that they need to be repaired every year?” it asks.