“Haykakan Zhamanak” lambastes the government for ignoring the demands of students protesting against a controversial bill restricting their rights to draft deferments. “The government does not even think about how to settle this situation to both satisfy the demands of the young people and make reforms in the army. They simply say they don’t give a damn about the protest held by only several hundred students and are not going to do anything. Moreover, in the parliament yesterday pro-government lawmakers even hinted that behind the student movement there are forces and countries that do not want the Armenian army to be strong.”
The editor of “Aravot” also writes on the topic ironically: “In Armenia people are good at exposing conspiracies. When you don’t like something, you at once start saying: I know where it comes from. And since we are largely influenced by Russian political culture, this vague center of evil has concrete names – the West, Jews, Masons, the world’s power center, the LGBT community and, of course, [George] Soros. Ideas that all the dark forces of the world are preoccupied with doing something bad for Armenia and Armenians come from the narrow world outlook.”
“Zhamanak” says that a possible escalation of the situation connected with the protests of students against the controversial law on army service and the status of servicemen is “very undesirable” against the backdrop of the planned signing of a new accord between Armenia and the European Union. “This is a very important event for Armenia and the region, including in terms of defense and security. Any destabilization of the domestic situation in Armenia is fraught with various risks for the accord,” the daily writes.
Ahead of President Serzh Sarkisian’s visit to Moscow where he is scheduled to meet with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin “Zhoghovurd” writes: “It is remarkable that the visit precedes the signing of a new framework agreement between Armenia and the European Union planned for November 24. It is difficult to say whether the September 2013 scenario will be repeated this time. Back then, after meeting with Putin, Sarkisian refused to initial a similar accord with the EU. So far, the Armenian authorities have been giving assurances that nothing imperils the signing of the new accord with the EU. But considering the fact that Sarkisian behaves like the leader of an ‘outpost’ country in front of the Russian president, no development is excluded.”