(Saturday, March 4)
“Zhamanak” believes President Serzh Sarkisian implied in his interview with the Euronews TV channel that he has no plans to retire from the Armenian political arena anytime soon. “Of course, Sarkisian did not say that his staying in politics depends on the Republican Party’s electoral performance,” writes the paper. “But once again he glossed over the issue of his political future, clearly hinting that he has no plans to retire from politics.” It says that in countries like Armenia “being in politics means being in government” or in radical opposition to the ruling regime.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says Bako Sahakian, the Nagorno-Karabakh president, echoing statements by Armenian Defense Minister Vigen Sargsian, has told Russian media that Armenia’ Iskander missiles have bolstered the military balance in the Karabakh conflict. Just a few days later President Serzh Sarkisian warned that Armenia will use “all means in our arsenal” if Azerbaijan attempts to provoke another war in Karabakh. “Sarkisian did not utter the word Iskander but he did mean it,” comments the paper. “And Sarkisian made clear that he has no intention to phone anyone to consult or ask for permission before using [Iskander missiles] … The fact that this was said in front of Armenia’s ambassadors and consuls to various states means that Yerevan is informing not only Moscow and Azerbaijan but also other countries of the world … about its determination.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” is alarmed by revelations that the Karabakh Armenian military could not use some of its tanks and other armored vehicles during the April 2016 war in Karabakh because of the poor quality of diesel fuel supplied to it. The paper also decries corrupt practices in other areas of government spending, including supplies of subsidized fertilizers to farmers in various regions of Armenia.