“168 Zham” carries an interview with Prime Minister Karen Karapetian in which he discusses the economic situation in Armenia, his government’s efforts to improve it and his political future. He cautions against expectations of drastic economic betterment in the next one or two years.
“The most noteworthy thing is that for the first time Karapetian openly stated that the uncertainty over who will be prime minister in 2018 is negatively affecting the economy and business,” comments “Zhamanak.” The paper wonders “what Karen Karapetian wants after all.” “Does he want Serzh Sarkisian to say something and end the uncertainty and thereby send positive signals to business?” it says. “Does he just want to blame the uncertainty created by Serzh Sarkisian for the absence of tangible progress in the economic situation?”
In a yearend commentary on the main political events of 2017, “Aravot” mentions irregularities that were reported during the April 2 parliamentary elections. “Although the authorities said the elections were one step forward the final report by the OSCE/ODIHR noted that credible information about vote buying and pressure on voters cast a shadow on them,” the paper says. Switching to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, the paper points to the October meeting of Armenia’s and Azerbaijan’s presidents held in Geneva. It says although agreements reached by them are kept secret the meeting was “important” in itself as it prevented serious ceasefire violations.
In an article published by Lragir.am, political analyst Mikael Zolian says Defense Minister Vigen Sargsian has so far failed to substantiate his controversial concept of “nation-army” which he put forward immediately after taking office in October 2016. “The public has not yet seen a strategy for ‘nation-army,’” he writes. “So it is hard to judge on which principles it is based and what sequence of actions it envisages. For the moment, the most visible manifestation of the ‘nation-army’ notion is a sharp increase in militaristic rhetoric.”