“Zhoghovurd” says that Mihran Poghosian, the fugitive former head of Armenia’s Service for the Mandatory Execution of Judicial Acts (SMEJA), should have been prosecuted on corruption charges three years ago when it first emerged that he has secret offshore assets. The paper says this did not happen because former President Serzh Sarkisian did not want to “sacrifice” a key member of his political clan. It wonders whether Russia will now extradite Poghosian to Armenia or grant him political asylum.
“Poghosian thinks that he is prosecuted in Armenia for political reasons,” writes Lragir.am. “A Russian court allowed his 40-day arrest earlier this week as Armenia’s Office of the Prosecutor-General said it has presented the Russian side with all documents required for his extradition,” it says. “Now Russia has to choose between believing Armenian law-enforcement authorities and Mihran Poghosian.”
“Hraparak” says that Armenia must get rid of “all taboos and stereotypes” relating to relations with its neighbors, “discuss all problems in a free and uninhibited manner” and make far-reaching decisions. In this endeavor, the paper, says the Armenian authorities must avoid “cheap populism.” “Of course our people will always remember and commemorate the victims of the 1915 genocide,” it says. “This is the whole nation’s pain and future generations too will carry it. But that pain must not prevent us from living, developing, normalizing relations with neighbors, having open borders and integrating into the world.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” scoffs at supporters of the former Armenian government who accuse Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian of failing to fulfill many promises given by him during last year’s “velvet revolution.” “And they draw corresponding conclusions that nothing has changed in the past year or that if something has changed it has changed only for the worse,” writes the pro-Pashinian paper. It says it is “the people,” not the former regime, who must gauge the results of the revolution.