“Hraparak” says that Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian’s plans to allow the relaunch of the Amulsar gold mining project mark his firs unpopular decision made in office. The paper says that Pashinian is thus ignoring vehement objections from environmental and other groups that helped him to come to power in May 2018. “This can be described as the first rift between those who blocked streets [during the “Velvet Revolution”] and those who came to power,” it says. “In this case, the choice was made [by Pashinian] in favor of business and investments. This is the first serious test for the authorities and Nikol Pashinian in particular.”
“Aravot” deplores the “hypocrisy” of individuals involved in the controversy surrounding the Amulsar project. The paper specifically hits out at those residents of a village close to Amulsar who had willingly sold their agricultural land plots to the project operator, the Lydian International company, at high prices but are now protesting against gold mining in the area. “The locals who did business with Lydian were happy with the sums paid to them and used that money to buy homes and cars in Yerevan,” editorializes the paper. “Now many of them have become enthusiastic ecologists … If you are so patriotic you should not have sold your lands in the first place.”
Lragir.am complains that Pashinian’s “historic” speech delivered in Stepanakert early this month has already been forgotten and offset by other developments. The publication claims that the speech was first “shattered” by a scandalous media report about the alleged involvement of a Karabakh general in the 2008 crackdown on opposition protesters in Yerevan. It says Pashinian’s detractors dealt further blows to important statements made by him in the Karabakh capital.