“Zhoghovurd” comments on Armenian lawmakers’ angry reactions to the Kremlin propaganda chief Dmitry Kiselyov’s calls for the Russian language to be granted an official status in Armenia. The paper says that they should have voiced their anger in a similar fashion last year when the leadership of the National Assembly opened a “Russian-Armenian parliamentary club.” (Kiselyov made his controversial statements in that club on Wednesday.) “Before declaring Kiselyov a persona no grata we should give such a status to the Armenian authorities,” it says.
An editorial in “Aravot” also looks at the controversy sparked by the Russian TV host backed by the Kremlin. “Dmitry Kiselyov is not a journalist, he is a representative of the Kremlin’s aggressive and crude propaganda machine,” writes the paper. “In effect, he is a state official. His rank is higher than that of many, many Russian officials. He is almost a minister of the truth, to borrow from George Orwell’s famous novel. He is one of 300 [Russian] journalists who were decorated by a secret decree signed by [Vladimir] Putin for what the Russian president believes was an objective coverage of the events in Crimea. Deputies from the [ruling] HHK would not have listened to any real journalist with so much attention.”
“In this case, the Russian official’s main message was absolutely clear: ‘If you want security you must also accept our totalitarian culture, not Russian culture that has great democratic traditions. These are the civilizational signals that are now coming from the Kremlin,” concludes “Aravot.”
In an interview with “Hayots Ashkhar,” deputy parliament speaker Hermine Naghdalian discusses amendments to the Armenian constitution planned by the authorities. Naghdalian denies opposition claims that the reform is aimed at enabling President Serzh Sarkisian to stay in power after 2018. She says Sarkisian has already made clear that he does not want to stay on as president or become prime minister after completing his second term. She laughs off suggestions that Sarkisian might retain the reins of power in a different capacity, including as parliament speaker.