“Zhoghovurd” reports that President Serzh Sarkisian on Wednesday reiterated that Armenia’s population must rise to 4 million b 2040 when he held a special meeting with Prime Minister Karen Karapetian and a dozen other senior officials. “So Sarkisian still believes in his statement made months ago and keeps publicly talking about that,” scoffs the paper. It says that Sarkisian’s decade-long presidency has seen a large-scale emigration and failing birth rates.
“Zhamanak” says that the population target set by Sarkisian can be achievable only if his administration ensures Armenia’s “transition from an oligarchic to a truly competitive economy,” combats corruption and boosts judicial independence. The paper is highly skeptical on that score. It also says that the authorities should set and achieve more modest and short-term demographic targets before speaking of 2040.
“It’s wrong to solve problems in the 21st century with the methods and mentality of the 20th or 19th centuries,” writes “Hraparak” in a commentary on a controversial government bill that will abolish military draft deferments currently offered to some students. The paper is critical of the bill, saying that the Armenian authorities strive instead to create a more “modern army.”
“168 Zham” quotes Paul Goble, a U.S. analyst, as saying that it is Azerbaijan, not Armenia, that opposes international investigations of truce violations in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone that were agreed upon by the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents in 2016. “Azerbaijan must honor the commitments assumed by its president,” he says. Goble also says that progress towards a peaceful settlement of the Karabakh dispute is hardly possible without this and other confidence-building measures.