“Zhamanak” says a deputy chairman of the governing Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), Armen Ashotian, on Tuesday declined to clarify whether President Serzh Sarkisian will no longer be in power after April 2018. The paper believes that many other senior HHK figures also cannot give a clear answer to this question.It says that Sarkisian is deliberately keeping his allies and, more importantly, political opponents guessing.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” is highly skeptical about Prime Minister Karen Karapetian’s and businessman Gagik Tsarukian’s pre-election pledges to attracts billions of dollars in investments in Armenia. “In the last 29 years our economy has absorbed around $8 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI),” writes the paper. “That makes up less than $300 million per year. And last year FDI inflows did not even reach $100 million.” Karapetian’s and Tsarukian’s pledges are therefore not realistic, it says. “The only thing the current authorities and the political force that was for years in a coalition with them should talk about now is conditions necessary for attracting investments,” it says. “Or rather their absence.” The paper says they are not talking about obstacles to FDI because “if they were to honestly give the reason for that they would have to quietly drop out of the election race because they themselves are that reason.”
Arayik Harutiunian, the Nagorno-Karabakh prime minister, tells “Aravot” that the April 2016 war with Azerbaijan was a victory for the Armenian side despite “minor positional losses” suffered by it. He argues that Karabakh Armenian forces repelled an “enemy that channeled tens of billions of dollars into its army.” “We forced them to ask for a ceasefire on the second or third day [of the hostilities,]” he says. “Today our border is much better protected, equipped and modernized [than it was before April 2016.] Our soldiers feel calmer.”
“Zhoghovurd” reacts to Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko’s “scandalous” remarks made at a meeting on Tuesday with Armenia’s outgoing ambassador to Belarus, Armen Khachatrian. Lukashenko said that Armenia “has never appealed to me” in connection with the arrest and subsequent extradition to Azerbaijan of Russian-Israeli blogger Alexander Lapshin.