(Saturday, July 15)
Lragir.am says that the April 2016 war in Nagorno-Karabakh only intensified the Armenian-Azerbaijani arms race. The online publication says that the four-day hostilities also reduced chances of a peaceful resolution of the Karabakh conflict.
“Hraparak” reports that Russia has stopped recognizing driver licenses issued by Armenia and other foreign countries. A law passed by the State Duma stipulates that only citizens of those countries where the Russian language has an official status can use their driver licenses in Russia. “It is not clear what the Russian language has to do with driving,” writes the paper. “What is clear is that they are forcing us to recognize Russian as a state language and allow greater use of Russian,” comments the paper. “How to stop this Russian attack to which there is no end in sight? After all, disadvantages of being within the Russian orbit are big while advantages insignificant.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” quotes an Armenian driver working in Russia as complaining that the Armenian authorities are doing nothing to support people like him gravely affected by the latest Russian ban. “Don’t they understand that we send money earned here to Armenia?” he says.
“Aravot” carries front-page photographs highlighting the poor state of public transportation in Armenia. “During campaigning for the [May 14] mayoral elections, the municipal authorities were promising to put in place a new transport system meeting European standards,” writes the paper. “For this purpose city officials have already taken concrete measures: they have attracted new loans. As much as 800,000 euros ($900,000) has been paid to international experts to look into the transport network and give advice. Two months after the municipal elections, no practical steps in that direction have been taken yet. It remains unclear when we will get rid of overcrowded and unhealthy minivans.”