“Zhamanak” describes as unprecedented the weekend pledge by the new head of Armenia’s National Security Service (NSS), Artur Vanetsian, to expose and hold accountable individuals who have embezzled large amounts of public funds. “They have spoken about fighting corruption for many years, including at the highest [government] level,” writes the paper. “But never before has an NSS chief announced very concrete revelations and given very clear timelines. On the other hand, such statements should not come as a surprise because there has been a revolution in Armenia.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says that the Armenian government is supposed to complete on July 1 the gradual introduction of a new and controversial pension system which began four years ago. The paper notes that the new Labor and Social Affairs Minister Mande Tandilian was one of the leaders of a pressure group that campaigned against the pension reform from the outset. It believes that the new system is essential for Armenia given its aging and shrinking population. “The question is whether it must be optional or mandatory and where and how payments to pension funds must be accumulated,” it says.
“Aravot” says Tandilian now realizes that “state interests require the introduction of that system in one way or another.” The paper says her apparent change of heart on the issue is “very natural” and reflects “the new government’s sense of responsibility.”
Interviewed by “168 Zham,” Vladimir Yevseyev, a Russian military analyst, comments on Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s threats to strike “any military target” in Armenia from Azerbaijan’s Nakhichevan exclave. “This is what the joint Russian-Armenian military contingent was set up for: to secure that section of the [Armenian-Azerbaijani] border and deter Turkey, which has gained a foothold in Nakhichevan,” he says. “I can say for certain that given the existing Russian-Turkish relations it is hard to imagine threats to Armenia emanating from this border section because any provocation against Armenia would be regarded as a move against Russia.”