“Zhamanak” pays attention to a specific phrase used by Russian President Vladimir Putin during his March 10 meeting with Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian in Moscow. Putin, in particular, said that the relations between the two countries were developing as strategic partnership, although “there are problems of objective nature…”. “It is remarkable that such an unprecedented statement for high-level Armenian-Russian relations has been made… The fact that it was said by Putin shows that these problems exist for Russia. It has been clear for several years that there are problems in these relations for Armenia, but Moscow kept ignoring these problems. But now, as is clear, problems have emerged also for Russia,” the paper comments.
“Zhoghovurd” says that no information on any program for economic cooperation was presented after the Putin-Sarkisian meeting. The paper notes that both sides expressed satisfaction with their bilateral relations, including in the economic sphere, but says their feelings of satisfaction may be different: “Especially that yesterday, hours before the Putin-Sarkisian meeting it became clear that the negotiations conducted by the Armenian government with the Russian side over the lowering of the natural gas price had yielded no results.”
The editor of “Aravot” counters accusations of Russophobia: “Russia must be our number one partner, but a true partner and not a lord. In order to understand what the difference between partnership and vassal-suzerain relations means, one can have in a little mental exercise. Imagine that an Armenian journalist is killed in Russia. Should our National Security Service take the alleged killer, bring him to Yerevan and have him tried here? Imagine an Armenian reporter writes an article on the armaments in the Russian army in which there are some elements of military secret. Would it be to the Russians’ liking? And if not, would that mean that Russians are Armenophobic? Imagine that an Armenian serviceman murders a Russian family in Russia and this serviceman is not handed over to Russian law-enforcement bodies. Would that not cause an outrage in our friendly country?... Of course, there are people in Armenia who suffer from different phobias. Those phobias could be against ethnic or religious groups, sexual minorities, political and social views. People with such phobias can be easily distinguished from the very first word they say or write. And it is these people who usually attach labels to others.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” writes: “In 2018, Armenian higher schools will see a considerable reduction in the number of applicants. This will lead to some serious financial problems. This will happen due to the decrease in the number of school graduates that year. While this year about 24,500 children will graduate from schools, then in 2018 that number will shrink to 14,700.” Talking to the paper, pro-rector of the State Economics University of Armenia Paruyr Kalantarian did not exclude that there could be staff cuts in his establishment due to this situation.”