“Azg” predicts that the new Russian-Armenian military agreement will prove “decisive, in the long term, not only for Armenia, not only for Russian-Armenian relations but the whole region.” The paper believes that the agreement is good for Armenia in the sense that it will reduce the likelihood of another war with Azerbaijan and “restrain Turkey’s ambitions” in the region. “However, so serious are concerns [about it] and so significant are questions and, on the other hand, so few are sincere and clear explanations [of its necessity] that the August 19 event will contain all the elements necessary for making it fateful,” it says in an editorial.
“Russia is reinforcing not only its economic but military presence in the Caucasus,” writes “Hraparak.” The paper says the new defense pact with Armenia shows that Russia’s centuries-old “expansionist policy” in the region is continuing.
“Zhamanak” also deplores the deal, saying that it is the “logical” result of domestic policies pursued by the Armenian authorities. “In this case, even the security component [of the agreement] is becoming an absolute deception,” claims the pro-opposition paper. It says the main prerequisite of a country’s security is government policies reflecting the will and opinion of the people. “There is no such thing in Armenia,” it adds. “What we have is a cynical disregard of the public’s will. In these conditions, it makes no sense to hold debates on what security system is more reliable for Armenia: the Western or Russian?”
Naira Zohrabian, a member of the Armenian delegation at the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), tells “Aravot” that the Turkish and Azerbaijani communities in Sweden are lobbying for Swedish parliamentarian Goran Lindblad’s appointment as an Armenia co-rapporteur of the PACE’s Monitoring Committee. “I stand by my view that Lindblad’s appointment as co-rapporteur by the Monitoring Committee is one of the elements of [PACE President Mevlut] Cavusoglu’s plan,” she claims. “One thing is clear: Turkish-Azerbaijani lobbyist Lindblad can not be impartial towards Armenia. Therefore, our delegation must definitely formulate and express its concerns.” Zohrabian says the delegation will also continue to oppose Cavusoglu’s efforts to revive the work of an ad hoc PACE commission on the Karabakh conflict.
“Hayots Ashkhar” reports that despite the ongoing economic recovery Armenian commercial banks remain extremely risk-averse in extending loans to local companies. The paper says growth in bank lending slowed in the second quarter of this year. “In the second quarter, the banks’ credit portfolio increased by only 10 billion drams ($27 million),” it says.