“Zhamanak” analyzes statements made by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during a visit to Baku on Wednesday. In particular, Lavrov insisted that Armenia’s membership in the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) will have no bearing on the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “Thus, one thing is becoming clear: the issues of Karabakh and the Eurasian Union are being separated, at least for now,” writes the paper.
“Zhoghovurd” notes Lavrov’s remark that Armenia will be joining the EEU with its internationally recognized borders. The paper points out that the Armenian authorities have never made this clear during their membership talks with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan and earlier negotiations with the European Union on an Association Agreement. “Therefore it is incomprehensible that on behalf of Armenia Lavrov makes statements which the Armenian authorities have never made,” it says.
“Hayots Ashkhar” believes that Lavrov discussed with Azerbaijani leaders ways of helping Baku cope with Western pressure over its poor human rights record and the possibility of more Russian arms supplies to Azerbaijan. The paper says that the Azerbaijani leadership wants to sell its “geopolitical and energy trump cards” to the highest international bidder. Russia is trying to make sure that the West does not win that “tender,” it says.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” dismisses President Serzh Sarkisian’s Tuesday remark that he hopes Karabakh will be recognized internationally and Armenia will become economically stronger by the time he turns 65 in 2019. The pro-opposition paper says that Sarkisian’s frantic efforts to join the EEU are making the realization of these goals unrealistic.
“Aravot” regards as discriminatory the Armenian government’s decision to restart its controversial pension reform from public sector employees born after 1973. The reform is to become mandatory for the private sector in 2017. “That will create social tension,” editorializes the paper. “Why should a 35-year-old physician, schoolteacher or ministry employee look at, say, a 35-year-old correspondent of ‘Aravot’ with jealousy and feel suppressed and offended? We should on the contrary increase the prestige of people working for the government.”