(Saturday, August 19)
Lragir.am reacts to President Serzh Sarkisian’s plans to set up a “pan-Armenian council” at the upcoming Armenia-Diaspora conference which his government will hold in Yerevan next month. “There is no word on its goals and rationale,” writes the online publication. It sees internal political motives behind Sarkisian’s initiative. The president, it says, wants to reinvigorate his regime and cement his hold on power with such publicity stunts. “He needs internal and external legitimacy for his plans, and those initiatives are aimed at showing that he is irreplaceable,” concludes the publication.
1in.am says that in recent days a number of Russian media outlets have carried articles criticizing what they see as a pro-Western tilt in Armenia’s foreign policy. “They are exaggerated, to say the least,” writes the publication. “One is getting the impression that Moscow is simply preparing the ground for justifying its possible pressure on Yerevan.” It also notes that the reports made no mention of Armenia’s relations with the European Union. This means, it says, that Moscow will not thwart the signing of a major Armenia-EU agreement in November.
Speaking to Tert.am, the chairman of Armenia’s Union of Information Technology Enterprises, Karen Vartanian, claims that Armenia can export at least $2 billion worth of hi-tech weapons annually in the near future. He says that some types of such weapons are already manufactured and tested by Armenian firms. “Armenia’s intellectual capabilities allow for that,” he says. “It’s just that intellectual potential alone is not enough. There must also be a desire. The political leadership of this country’s must be willing to utilize our intellectual potential.” To that end, the authorities must, first and foremost, improve the quality of higher education, according to Vartanian.