“168 Zham” says the main purpose of Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian’s visit to the Armavir province on Wednesday was to urge angry farmers not to hold demonstrations during President Serzh Sarkisian’s May 28 visit to the nearby Sardarapat war memorial. The paper says that Tigran Sarkisian succeeded in convincing them. “Villagers may not be happy with Tigran Sarkisian, but it is evident that Serzh Sarkisian will be satisfied with Tigran Sarkisian’s visit to Armavir,” it says.
“Hraparak” says government members and pro-government lawmakers demonstrated unprecedented “cynicism, shamelessness and unfounded self-confidence” during this week’s parliament debates on the Armenian government’s five-year program. The paper says the government is absolutely not responsive to almost daily social protests erupting across the country. “The ruling party is taking every opportunity to tell people to come to terms with the fact that the Republicans will rule the country for the next five years,” it says.
“Zhamanak” criticizes the Special Investigative Service (SIS) for rejecting an opposition demand to launch a criminal investigation into the origin of Yerevan Mayor Taron Markarian’s business assets. The paper says the SIS’s decision suggests that the law-enforcement agency will not be impartial and independent despite President Sarkisian’s recent assurances. “It is clear that the SIS will be a purely political tool in the hands of Serzh Sarkisian and it will not touch Taron Markarian until he causes the president’s discontent,” it claims.
“Aravot” comments on Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remark that the status quo is not beneficial for all parties to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict as well as Russia. The paper points out that journalists, observers and other pundits have long said that the parties and Russia are on the contrary quite happy with the status quo. “Since when is the status quo unacceptable to Moscow” it asks. “Is there a change in the Kremlin’s position? … But maybe it is yet another hint that can be seen as pressure on the Armenian side.”
“Orakarg” reports that the government has sued the Armavia airline over 7 billion drams ($17 million) in unpaid taxes. The paper notes that Armavia has still not formally filed for bankruptcy despite terminating its flights on April 1.