“Aravot” dismisses as “extreme and reckless” critical reactions in Armenia to celebrations of Moscow Day in Yerevan. “Like many others in Armenia, I do not like [Vladimir] Putin’s foreign and domestic policies,” writes the newspaper editor, Aram Abrahamian. “But Moscow is not Putin or [Mayor Sergey] Sobyanin just as Yerevan cannot be associated with [Nikol] Pashinian or [Mayor Hayk] Marukian. Rulers are transient. There are more lasting things. I like the Moscow of [composer Pyotr] Tchaikovsky, [writer Mikhail] Bulgakov and [poet Bulat] Okudzhava, and in that sense Russia’s capital belongs to all of us, all thinking people of the world.”
“In terms of political regime, we and Russia should follow diametrically opposite paths. Moreover, I believe it made no economic sense to join the Eurasian Economic Union. But our cultural and spiritual links with the Russian people are a different thing. They are our wealth as are our links with other peoples,” concludes “Aravot.”
“Zhoghovurd” also comments on critics’ claims that marking Moscow Day in Yerevan was a “slavish” thing to do. The paper criticizes their “aggressive and intolerant” behavior and wonders “why they have become so Russophobe.” “They had better look for slavish manifestations elsewhere,” it says. “Celebrations of Moscow Day in Armenia are in no way associated with a slavish mindset. By taking such [anti-Russian] actions our compatriots endanger the peaceful and prosperous lives of 3 million Armenians living in Russia. What is the point of inciting hostility in Russian-Armenian relations when there is simply no need to do that?” The paper suggests that such actions might be aimed at undercutting Pashinian by further complicating his rapport with Putin.
Lragir.am quotes Pashinian as saying in the Armenian parliament on Wednesday that a free economic zone on Armenia’s border with Iran is hamstrung by a grave lack of land allocated to it.“He said that land plots adjacent to it had been privatized and that the free economic zone that was opened in December 2017 has only an office building and a parking lot,” writes the publication. It notes in this regard that the Armenian parliament plans to pass a bill that will allow the authorities to confiscate “illegally acquired properties” without court rulings. Pashinian also spoke of a “large project” to modernize the Armenian-Iranian border checkpoints. It is due to be completed by 2023.