(Saturday, April 16)
“168 Zham” pounces on President Serzh Sarkisian’s remark that the Armenian army is mainly equipped with weapons manufactured in the 1980s. The paper believes that it would have more advanced and sophisticated weaponry had corruption not been so widespread in Armenia.
The fact that Azerbaijan has more such advances weapons and military hardware than Armenia is a cause for serious concern for “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.” “If we used [our modern weapons] sparingly, it means that we do not have enough of them,” says the paper.
“Zhoghovurd” reports on the alleged grenade attack on former President Robert Kocharian’s private residence in Yerevan. “The incident is noteworthy against the background of Serzh Sarkisian’s meeting with Levon Ter-Petrosian and statements made after it,” comments the paper. “By making harsh comments about Kocharian and blaming him for [Armenian] failings in the Karabakh negotiation process, Ter-Petrosian cleared Serzh Sarkisian of any responsible for the problem. He thus tried to torpedo a possible meeting between Robert Kocharian and Serzh Sarkisian. After public statements by Kocharian and Vartan Oskanian, who is now busy setting up a new political party, it became obvious that the Karabakh settlement will soon become the main government-opposition watershed in Armenia.”
“Given all this, yesterday’s incident raises questions,” continues “Zhoghovurd.” “Clearly, those who masterminded it aimed not to cause physical damage but to make noise and destabilize the situation in the country.”
“Zhamanak” reports that the government and the parliamentary opposition have resumed negotiations on Armenia’s new Electoral Code which were interrupted by the April 2-5 fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh. “This fact prompts somewhat contradictory reactions,” writes the paper. “After the four-day war, our state is faced with extremely serious challenges. Extremely serious conclusions need to be made. And yet they are attempting to attract public attention back to the internal political math, which has essentially nothing to do with the real problems of the state and the society and amount, at the end of the day, to clarifying the number of parliament seats [to be given to various parties.]”
“Aravot” says that Armenia needs “internal stability” in order to be able to deal with a renewed escalation of the Karabakh conflict which it says will not be long in coming. “In that sense, any action, even a symbolic one, directed against any citizen of Armenia, regardless of their position and wealth, must be seen as an attack on our state,” editorializes the paper.