“Zhoghovurd” comments on the first anniversary of the violent seizure by armed opposition members of a police station in Yerevan, saying that the Armenian authorities have not drawn “appropriate conclusions” from the bloodshed and failed to implement “radical changes” in the country. The paper says that President Serzh Sarkisian only sacked Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian in September for creating an “imitation of change” in the run-up to the April 2017 parliamentary elections. It says that Abrahamian’s successor, Karen Karapetian, instilled some hope in the public and distracted it from grave socioeconomic problems. Holding on to power remains Sarkisian’s supreme goal, concludes the paper.
“Hraparak” says that armed struggle against the ruling regime is totally legitimate for “some circles” in Armenia. “It’s just that when armed struggle ends in success it is called a revolution,” writes the paper. “But when it ends in failure it is turned into a coup and its participants end up in jail. Proponents of armed struggle must be conscious of this simple truth and meekly carry the heavy burden of imprisonment, condemnation and trials which the members of the Sasna Tsrer [armed opposition group] and their relatives now do. It is naïve to expect clemency, civilized treatment or soft punishment from the individuals against whom they took up arms.”
“Aravot” reacts to the controversy sparked by the Russian authorities’ decision to ban citizens of Armenia and other countries where Russian is not an official language from working as drivers in Russia. “Apparently an official status of the Russian language improves drivers’ professional skills and they no longer need to pass driving tests in Russia,” the paper comments with sarcasm. “Is this creating inconvenience for our drivers? Corresponding state bodies of Armenia must negotiate [with the Russians] to overcome those problems.” The paper also says that the Russian ban is dealing a serious blow to the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). It wonders whether Moscow will eventually drop its ambitious Eurasian project.
“Hayots Ashkhar” reports on a renewed increase in imports of goods to Armenia which comes amid government pledges to facilitate import substitution by domestic manufacturers. The paper singles out a 70 percent year-on-year rise in imports of Turkish goods which was registered by Armenia’s National Statistical Service (NSS) in the first five months of this year. It is very concerned about this trend.