“Zhoghovurd” claims that Defense Minister Vigen Sargsian has opted for a “political self-destruction” with his controversial decision to launch a fundraising campaign for the medical treatment abroad of a wounded Armenian soldier. The paper says that the uproar sparked by his initiative on social media has dealt an “extremely serious blow to his reputation.” It says that the way in which he announced the fundraising and his ill-tempered responses to some Facebook users’ comments “wrecked the entire process.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” alleges, meanwhile, that the chief of the Armenian army’s General Staff, Colonel-General Movses Hakobian, is behind “counterpropaganda” spread against Vigen Sargsian through some media outlets and Facebook. The paper claims that Hakobian may have also had a hand in a reported meeting of current and former senior military officials allegedly opposed to Sargsian’s continued tenure. It says that one of those officials, Emergency Situations Minister Davit Tonoyan, wants Hakobian to be sacked too.
“Zhamanak” reacts to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s statement on Monday to the effect that Moscow will not try to impose a peace accord on Armenia and Azerbaijan. “Things are not clear-cut here because Moscow may not have a [Karabakh peace] plan but it does have a business plan and supplies weapons to Armenia and Azerbaijan,” writes the paper. It says this encourages a more aggressive Azerbaijani stance and thereby keeps Armenia heavily dependent on Russian arms supplies.
“Hraparak” says that 2018 promises to be a “tough year” for Armenia and its population. The paper singles out the increased prices of some essential products, denouncing the authorities’ reaction to the price hikes.