“Zhamanak” is unconvinced by Prime Minister Karen Karapetian’s assurances that his government’s draft budget for next year will help to improve the macroeconomic situation in Armenia. The paper says that Karapetian’s predecessors also made such statements. “Everyone submitted ‘development budgets’ to the parliament,” it says. “It’s just that so far we have only seen economic setbacks or, at best, stagnation as a result of that ‘development.’”
“Prime Minister Karen Karapetian agrees with the assertion that Serzh Sarkisian is irreplaceable as a guarantor of national security,” writes “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “Also, Karen Karapetian aspires to [retaining] the post of prime minister after April 2018. He made such statements at his news conference held yesterday. If Karapetian really thinks that Serzh Sarkisian is irreplaceable as security guarantor, then he must also say that Sarkisian must be Armenia’s next prime minister. Or else, it would mean that with his readiness to hold on to the post of prime minister Karapetian puts Armenia’s security at risk.”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” reacts to a statement adopted by the leadership of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) at its latest meeting held in Armenia. “The approximate gist of the statement was as follows: they are not that happy with the socioeconomic situation in the country, they will act in an independent and pro-active manner, and they will not necessarily enter into [another governing] coalition in April 2018,” says the paper. “In other words, horse trading has begun. True, the emphasis is put on economic problems, but that is obviously a smokescreen.” Dashnaktsutyun, the paper speculates, is simply setting a very high price for its acceptance of a possible compromise solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict that could be agreed by Sarkisian and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.
“Zhoghovurd” notes Sarkisian’s remark, made in an interview with a Russian radio station, that he had “greater expectations” from Armenia’s membership in the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). The paper says neither Sarkisian nor any other Armenian leader has publicly made such statements before.