(Saturday, October 26)
“Zhamanak” condemns as a “disgrace” Armenia’s reported pledge not to make any statements going against the interests of the Russian-led customs union, which President Serzh Sarkisian made during a summit in Minsk. The paper claims that by contrast, the presidents of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan undertook no such commitments with respect to Armenia. What is more, it says, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko implied ahead of the summit that the union should take into consideration Azerbaijan’s position when deciding on Yerevan’s membership bid.
“Zhoghovurd” comments on a European Parliament resolution that effectively accuses Armenia of occupying a part of Azerbaijan. The paper says that it was construed by Armenian observers as a retaliation to Serzh Sarkisian’s decision to join the customs union. “It is evident that this is only the beginning of developments in European structures not favorable to Armenia,” it says, adding that they bode well for anti-Armenian activities of the Turkish and Azerbaijani lobbies.
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” ridicules pro-government lawmaker Galust Sahakian’s claims that Armenian deputies and other officials need much higher salaries to counter those activities in Europe. The paper wonders if Sahakian meant that they must be able to spend part of their wages on bribing European officials. If so, it says, then the Armenian delegation at the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) must be headed by very wealthy deputies such as “oligarch” Samvel Aleksanian.
“Hraparak” says that the decision to join the customs union has given rise to “many Soviet-era manifestations and symbols” in Armenia. The paper points to calls for greater use of the Russian language and official commemorations of Soviet Armenian leaders. One of them, the late Anton Kochinian, had his statue unveiled in the center of Yerevan just a few days ago.
Citing unnamed parliament staffers, “Haykakan Zhamanak” says that just about every room in the National Assembly is bugged and wiretapped by Armenian secret services. The paper claims that many staffers often whisper words and use hand gestures when discussing sensitive issues among each other.