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“Zhamanak” reaffirms its strong opposition to a new bilateral agreement on a joint Russian-Armenian military force in a commentary on Wednesday’s parliamentary debate in Yerevan on its ratification. The paper claims that Yerevan’s continuing heavy reliance on Moscow for defense and security is based on wrong geopolitical calculations.

“Aravot” maintains that in 2013 Armenia could have signed an Association Agreement with the European Union and thus avoided joining the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). At the same time, the paper questions the wisdom and timing of the opposition Yelk bloc’s calls for Armenia’s exit from the EEU, saying that neither the authorities nor most ordinary citizens support this idea. “We must also take into account the fact that relations between the West and Russia have further deteriorated in the last four years. Do we really need to get willy-nilly involved in that tussle?” it says. While calling Armenia’s membership in the EEU an “unpleasant reality,” the paper says that it is not the root cause of the country’s problems.

“Zhoghovurd” quotes Agriculture Minister Ignati Arakelian as saying that a sharp increase in the prices of meat in Armenia is only temporary. “There will be a [price] decrease later on,” he says. “Everything changes. The prices cannot remain unchanged.” The paper dismisses this explanation as “inadequate.”

“Hayots Ashkhar” looks at suggestions that with their strong push for the holding of a meeting of Armenia’s and Azerbaijan’s presidents later this year the U.S., Russian and French co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group are indicating that they have “prepared something for the parties” which has to do with their “fundamental interests.” “It is evident that the Karabakh conflict is the only conflict in the region where major differences between the countries leading the OSCE Minsk Group do not impede discussions on the Madrid Principles drawn up by them before,” writes the paper.

(Tigran Avetisian)

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