“Zhoghovurd” sees a connection between President Serzh Sarkisian’s public criticism of Russian arms sales to Azerbaijan and the latest visit to Yerevan by Nikolay Bordyuzha, the secretary general of the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). “Has Bordyuzha arrived in Yerevan in order to win the heart of Serzh Sarkisian, who has been strongly attached to a European agenda of late, by offering yet another batch of [Russian-made] weapons at discounted prices?” asks the paper. “Or, on the contrary, to rein in [Sarkisian’s] European ambitions and urge him to be more cautious in his statements on Russia? It is hard to tell. One will be able to make explicit judgments about that some time later, after looking into the dynamics of Azerbaijani ceasefire violations.”
“168 Zham” reports that the Armenian parliament on Monday rejection opposition deputy Zaruhi Postanjian’s motion to demand that Russia hand over Valery Permyakov, a Russian soldier accused of slaughtering an Armenian family in Gyumri, to Armenian law-enforcement bodies. “The Armenian authorities could not allow that,” comments the paper. “Especially after last week’s session in Yerevan of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly, which was turned into a platform for anti-Russian statements.” The paper says an Armenian parliament demand for Permyakov’s extradition would have infuriated the Russians. The authorities in Yerevan, it says, can now present the rejection of Postanjian’s initiative as “yet another manifestation of their loyalty” to Moscow.
“Hraparak” reports that the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) officially declared itself an opposition force on Monday following the resignation of its founding leader Gagik Tsarukian and defections of many senior members. The paper dismisses the declaration, saying that the BHK challenged President Serzh Sarkisian much more forcefully when it referred to itself as a mere “alternative” to Armenia’s government. “Having said that, let us be optimistic and wait and see the actions of the new BHK,” it says. “They will be more telling than all of our analyses and speculations.”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” quotes President Sarkisian as telling the France 24 TV channel, in an interview broadcast this week, that he feels “very comfortable” in his dealings with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The paper says Sarkisian would not say, though, whether or not he trusts Putin. It calls this answer “shameful,” saying that Sarkisian should have expressed confidence in his Russian counterpart.