“Zhoghovurd” notes that Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is visiting Armenia for the first time since last spring’s “velvet revolution.” The paper suggests given the “not so smooth” state of Russian-Armenian relations Medvedev will discuss not only economic but also political issues in Yerevan. “Are the current Armenian authorities considered by Russia to be as controllable and therefore trustworthy as the former ones?” it says. “It should be noted that there is also a lack of trust towards Russia in Armenia, especially on issues where Russia plays a direct or passive role.” It says one of those issues is the criminal investigation into the March 2008 violence in Yerevan and Russian support for the arrested former President Robert Kocharian.
“Zhamanak” says one of the issues on the agenda of Medvedev’s trip is the price of Russian natural gas supplied to Armenia. “The Armenian authorities want to fix a long-term price of gas so that they don’t have to negotiate every year and create tension in the economic and political life,” writes the paper. “But the Russian side is not prepared for such an agreement and the gas prices will continue to fluctuate in accordance with international market trends.”
“Aravot” voices misgivings about the authorities’ decision to mark the anniversary of the “velvet revolution” with a new public holiday called Citizen’s Day. Still, the paper notes that Armenians who celebrated the holiday in the streets of Yerevan and other parts of the country on Saturday carried no “negative energy” and did not utter insults directed at the former regime. “People were simply having fun,” it says. “Just how they were having fun is another matter.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” claims that critics of the current government are now saying that “corruption is not such a bad thing” after all and can be good for state governance. The pro-government paper says this is part of their efforts to “exonerate the former authorities.” “Controlled corruption is certainly a system of governance and it could even have some short-term positive effects,” it says. “But only if there is no state and statehood.”