According to “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun,” the April hostilities in Nagorno-Karabakh demonstrated that “patriotic rhetoric is not enough to win the war” with Azerbaijan. “We also needed advanced weaponry which costs a lot of money,” writes the paper. The Armenian authorities, it says, can raise that money by genuinely combatting corruption and embezzlement of public funds and implementing far-reaching reforms. “But within just a few weeks [after the April fighting,] the authorities’ logic changed radically. They realized that there are two, not one, ways out of the existing situation. The first one is to really root out corruption, stop the annual outflow of $2 billion from Armenia, acquire decedent weapons and defend Karabakh on our own. The second one is to outsource defense to Russia and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), get rid of that headache and therefore give up the fight against corruption and other window-dressing.”
The pro-opposition paper criticizes in that context a Russian-Armenian agreement on the creation of a new joint air-defense system between the two countries. The agreement, it says, is part of a broader deal struck by the Armenian and Russian governments.
“Zhoghovurd” reports on the continuing blockage of the Russian-Georgian border crossing at Upper Lars that was caused by a massive landslide. “Problems at Lars are a constant headache for Armenian exporters and freight shipment companies,” says the paper. “As a result, they have for years been operating at the constant risk of going bankrupt or suffering serious losses. There is no alternative which our state could offer them in case of the closure of the Lars crossing.”
“Zhamanak” disagrees with the International Monetary Fund’s positive evaluation of the controversial Tax Code enacted by the Armenian authorities. The paper says that while it is true that Armenia needs to collect more taxes and spend them on capital projects, that extra revenue must not come at the expense of Armenian businesses already diligently paying taxes.