Commenting on Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian’s trip to Iran, “Zhamanak” says that Armenian-Iranian high-level talks “have not been that frequent in the last two years.” “What is more, under Serzh Sarkisian’s presidency, Iran seems to have been relegated to a secondary place in Armenia’s foreign policy agenda,” writes the paper. It speculates that the reason for this is that Tehran does not seem to view the current Armenian leadership as its “number one partner in Armenia.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” quotes an Armenian Defense Ministry spokesman, Mushegh Aghekian, as saying that the ministry is still investigating the authenticity of a scandalous Youtube video that purports to show two the physical abuse of two Armenian soldiers by their commander. Citing an unnamed “reliable” source, the paper says the investigation is in fact being led by the National Security Service (NSS), rather that the Armenian military. It says NSS and military police investigators have already established that the footage is authentic and questioned “several dozen individuals.”
Another Defense Ministry spokesman, Vartan Avetisian, tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that the anger caused by the video is “understandable” and goes on to accuse opposition groups of exploiting it. “We should look at that in a sober and calm manner and weigh up all circumstances,” he says. “An investigation is being conducted now and competent bodies have been given appropriate instructions to … determine the identity of individuals shown in that video. Let us wait until the investigation is over before making evaluations.”
Justice Minister Gevorg Danielian assures “Aravot” that his ministry is improving its management and oversight of Armenia’s prisons. “From now on, work done in that sphere will be more effective,” he says.
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” looks at a lack of competition in the most lucrative areas of business in Armenia. “The scale of business and revenue there is known in advance,” says the paper. “Being involved there is like printing money.” It claims that the mandatory insurance of cars in Armenia, effective from January 1, will also be monopolized by pro-government businessmen.