“Zhoghovurd” reports on Armenian parliamentarians’ furious reaction to the extradition to Azerbaijan of blogger Alexander Lapshin who was arrested in Belarus in December. The paper finds that criticism disingenuous, saying that the Armenian government and leading parties had almost two months to prevent that extradition but did very little for that purpose.
“Lapshin’s arrest is directly related to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” writes “Haykakan Zhamanak.” It has also raised questions about Belarus’s continued cooperation with Russia and Armenia within the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), writes the paper. It calls Lapshin’s extradition a “big blow” to Armenia.
“Zhamanak” says that instead of discussing former President Levon Ter-Petrosian’s conciliatory rhetoric on the Karabakh conflict, Armenian parties should explore new ways of neutralizing the Azerbaijani policy of escalation. “This does not mean that Armenia should abandon any peace discourse and switch to bellicose discussions,” explains the paper. “Not at all. Armenia should simply switch to the discussion of more rational ways and methods of achieving and establishing peace.”
“Aravot” questions the wisdom of businessman Gagik Tsarukian’s desire to contest the upcoming parliamentary elections at the head of an alliance, and not just the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK). The paper believes that the several small parties that are set to join that alliance will be of no use to Tsarukian. The BHK may actually do better if it decides to go it alone, it says.