“Hraparak” comments on President Serzh Sarkisian’s thinly veiled criticism of Russian arms supplies to Azerbaijan which was voiced during his visit to Argentina this week. “It turns out that Serzh Sarkisian has only now realized that Russia sells weapons to Azerbaijan and that the Armenian people are concerned about that,” writes the paper. “For more than a year, Armenian political and expert circles have been talking about that and wondering why the Armenian authorities are turning a blind eye to this behavior by our strategic ally, Russia. The authorities have [until now] not only failed to condemn those supplies but also stepped back from the process of association with the European Union and opted for the [Russian-led] Customs Union.”
“Official Yerevan seems to have now made certain changes in its rhetoric on Russia,” continues “Hraparak.” “This suggests that the authorities are worried about the Russian actions.” In particular, it says, senior members of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) have started emphasizing that Armenia will join the union only without “preconditions.”
“Zhoghovurd” says that the authorities have still not substantiated their claim that “Russia is our irreplaceable ally while the West is an unpromising partner.” The paper believes that Moscow is not acting like an Armenian ally. “Although we have a partnership pact with the Russians, which commits them to ensuring our border security, Russian authorities continue to intensively arm our enemy, thereby indirectly contributing to the resumption of hostilities,” it says. “The United States, by contrast, not only does not sell weapons to Azerbaijan but also provides financial assistance to Nagorno-Karabakh every year.”
“Zhamanak” speculates that Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian will ask for financial assistance from Russia when he meets his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev in Sochi on Friday. “However, Russia is extremely unlikely to help,” writes the paper.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” reports that Urban Development Minister Narek Sargsian has strongly defended the controversial redevelopment projects in Yerevan which began more than a decade ago when he served as the city’s chief architect. “Narek Sargsian is right: Yerevan has indeed changed beyond recognition,” comments the pro-opposition paper. “Just like Minsk or Smolensk did in 1941 after months of [German] bombardment.” The paper points to the destruction of old buildings in the center of Yerevan.