“168 Zham” talked to Polish analyst Konrad Zasztowt on the November 15 visit of Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian to Moscow. According to the analyst, now it is quite a hard time for Russia as despite the desire to restore full relations with Turkey, the Russian president does not want Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to participate in the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement process, since it is Russia’s monopoly. “Russia already considers it a concession that in this issue it takes into account the positions of the United States and France,” the paper quotes the Polish analyst as saying.
“Zhamanak” notes a sharp rise in military spending proposed in the 2018 draft budget: “The government explains this rise very easily as it plays on society’s patriotism as well as fear. The thing is that during the 10 years of President Serzh Sarkisian’s rule not only the army’s funding has increased, but the funding of police and other silovik structures has also increased… We have all grounds to assume that what motivated the authorities to increase that spending was not the desire to raise the country’s security and defense capabilities, but to strengthen their own support base.”
“Zhoghovurd” comments on the decision by students protesting against a controversial law restricting the right to draft deferments to suspend their protests pending a roundtable discussion with government representatives and other stakeholders. “The government took advantage of the fact that the protesting students are inexperienced and convinced them to at least temporarily halt their struggle. Even if this struggle is resumed after a pause it will hardly gain momentum,” the daily suggests.