“Zhamanak” reports that Mihran Poghosian, a former senior security official charged with corruption, has revealed that he now lives in Moscow and does not intend to return to Armenia and face arrest there. The paper wonders if Russian authorities will agree to extradite him to Armenia. It notes it this regard that former Defense Minister Mikael Harutiunian, who is facing coup charges, avoided extradition after it emerged that he is a Russian citizen. “It looks like Russia is becoming a political safe haven for members of Armenia’s former regime,” it says. “Basically this is not surprising given the fact that that regime operated under Russia’s tutelage. That sponsorship is thus continuing, and if things continue like this one must not rule out the emergence of an Armenian government in exile, shadow cabinet or alternative power in Moscow a few months or one or two years later.”
“Zhoghovurd” is disappointed with bitter verbal arguments that have erupted on the Armenian parliament floor of late. The paper says some parliament deputies seem to view the current National Assembly as a penitentiary institution and instead of “working in a constructive atmosphere” are busy threatening and lecturing their political opponents.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says there are “suspicions” that protests staged by employees of three large Armenian companies facing an uncertain future are part of “well-organized sabotage” against Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian’s government. “In any case, we are dealing with possible layoffs of workers and this is where elements of sabotage are visible because the chief executives of those companies are engaged in pretty much the same behavior,” writes the paper edited by Pashinian’s wife, Anna Hakobian. “They present the problems of their workers like this: ‘We have to make staff cuts as a result of government policies.’ Put simply, the owners of these large businesses are clearly trying direct the wave of discontent by people, who risk of losing jobs because of their inefficient work, at the government.”