“Zhoghovurd” condemns Yerevan’s municipal administration for restricting journalists’ access to its premises following last week’s violent dispute between pro-government and opposition members of the city council. “The Yerevan municipality is being increasingly turned into a penitentiary institution,” writes the paper. It accuses Mayor Taron Markarian of “fighting against journalists instead of reining in his Republican [party] gang.”
“Zhamanak” scoffs at President Serzh Sarkisian’s claim, made at an international security conference in Munich, that there is popular consensus in Armenia regarding his administration’s foreign policy and, in particular, its efforts to combine membership in a Russian-led bloc with closer ties with the European Union. The paper recalls the collapse in 2013 of Armenia’s Association Agreement with the EU, calling it a “shameful” end to Yerevan’s European integration drive. It also complains that no Armenian opposition force has since come up with a viable pro-Western alternative to Sarkisian’s foreign policy. It says domestic opposition forces have thus helped Sarkisian advance the official line that there is simply no alternative to that policy.
“Aravot” carries an editorial on the 30th anniversary of the start of a popular movement for Nagorno-Karabakh’s unification with Armenia. The paper says that the movement allowed Armenians to “overcome ethnic complexes” of victimhood that had taken shape over the centuries. “The generation that was at the heart of the movement consisted of grandparents of not only those who were slaughtered in 1915 but also those who won in 1945,” it says. “People who received quality education and lived in relative prosperity for several decades. The main ideology of the movement was formulated by Rafael Ishkhanian’s article that made a case against [Armenians’ reliance on] a third force. The message was totally clear: we must believe in ourselves and avoid the trap of traditional orientations. What we have managed to create and gain in the last 30 years is the result of our adherence to that line.”