“Zhamanak” says that Russian-Israeli blogger Alexander Lapshin’s extradition from Belarus to Azerbaijan has set a dangerous precedent for people willing to visit Nagorno-Karabakh. “The precedent could have a psychological impact on foreigners planning to visit Artsakh,” writes the paper. It says that Belarus is thus helping Azerbaijan isolate Karabakh.
“Lapshin’s arrest took place shortly after Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s visit to Baku,” writes “Aravot.” “In Baku, Ilham Aliyev gave Lukashenko Azerbaijan’s highest state award: the Order of Heydar Aliyev. Belarus’s actions regarding Lapshin are not the only proof that Belarus has adopted an unfriendly stance vis-à-vis Armenia.” In particular, the paper says, Belarus is also obstructing the appointment of an Armenian secretary general of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).
“Hraparak” sees splits already emerging within two of the newly formed alliances that will participate in Armenia’s forthcoming parliamentary elections. It emerged this week that businessman Gagik Tsarukian has decided to exclude the Ramkavar Azatakan party from his bloc. The paper claims that there are also differences among the leaders of another bloc that will bring together former Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian and four opposition parties. It says they disagree on pecking order in the list of the bloc’s election candidates.
“There will be no web cameras in 500 of Armenia’s 2,000 polling stations,” reports “Zhoghovurd.” The paper claims that they will be chosen by a telecom company belonging to President Serzh Sarkisian’s son-in-law. It hopes that opposition representatives will force the authorities to ensure live online broadcasts of voting in the April 2 elections from “the most high-risk polling stations.”