“Zhamanak” comments on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s statement that the guarantee of Russia’s sovereignty is that it does not form any alliances: “Is it some sort of insanity or ultimate cynicism? It is very difficult to understand Putin. But what he says is very clear. And what he, in fact, says is that for Russia the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) is not an alliance. He does not say what it is… Perhaps he has nothing more to say. This is a bitter truth that Putin speaks about apparently being sure that none of the CSTO members, including Armenia, will dare demand explanations over such an odd statement. On the other hand, there is perhaps no need to explain anything to the CSTO, as they themselves know it well that the CSTO is not an alliance. And Armenia should know it all too well. What alliance can we talk about if at least half of its members are military suppliers and business partners of the enemy of another member?”
On the occasion of Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian’s first 100 days in office “Haykakan Zhamanak” writes: “Upon assuming this post Abrahamian promised to solve the problem of the compulsory element of the pension reform and he did. Formally it became a tax but in essence the norm hasn’t undergone any change. The government began to give out tax privileges. Only during these 100 days such privileges were given to a company linked with oligarch Samvel Alexanian, a company founded by one of [President] Serzh Sarkisian’s advisors and one casino. During these 100 days the electricity tariff was raised by 10 percent. The government has failed to ground the need for that. Moreover, the police brutally beat the citizens who staged a protest against the decision. The government initiated a huge drainage of water from Lake Sevan for irrigation purposes explaining that most of the wells in the Ararat Valley had been closed for environmental reasons. But later the wells were reopened, but additional water is still being drained from the Sevan.”
In an interview with “Hayots Ashkhar” retired colonel and Karabakh war veteran Artur Alexanian explains the recent escalation of tensions along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border and around Nagorno-Karabakh by ‘money laundering’ in Azerbaijan rather than the neighboring country’s real intentions to renew hostilities. “They launder the stolen petrodollars by means of purchasing weapons and this is also something that explains why Azerbaijan buys such an enormous amount of weaponry. The other factor is the heavy economic situation in the country. By their military activities authorities in Azerbaijan are trying to show to their people that they are doing some important work aimed at strengthening the country’s defenses,” he says.
The editor of “Aravot” believes that it is impossible to solve political problems by strong-arm methods: “The arrest of Karabakh Committee members did not help preserve the Soviet regime in Armenia. Arrests of oppositionists before and after the post-election clashes in March 2008 eventually only raised the ratings of these figures… If any official plans to use this means to placate political passions in the future, then he should understand that it is simply a waste of time. If an oppositionist enjoys prestige he will be more dangerous in prison, if he doesn’t, let him talk as much as he wants. But I don’t doubt that totalitarianism is in our blood. Go into the street and ask people who they think should solve their problems. The answer of the majority of respondents will be ‘the State’. And what do you understand by saying ‘the State’? The president, the prime minister, the government – will be their answer. And this answer says it all.”