Lragir.am says that “circles close to Armenia’s former regime” and like-minded commentators in Russia are spreading claims about a deterioration of Russian-Armenian relations. “Armenia continues to participate in Russian-led blocs, vote in Russia’s favor in international structures and fulfill all of its contractual obligations,” counters the pro-Western publication. “There have been no official statements [by Armenian leaders] on their revision.” In this regard, it quotes a Russian analyst, Modest Kolerov, as saying that Moscow is unhappy with the continuing imprisonment of former President Robert Kocharian and Yerevan’s stated efforts to strike arms deals with third countries. The publication argues that not only Nikol Pashinian but also Serzh Sarkisian vowed to develop Armenia’s defense industry.
“Zhamanak” is puzzled by Pashinian’s decision to appoint Valeri Osipian as his chief adviser right after removing him from the post of chief of the Armenian police. “Valeri Osipian is a policeman by profession and supposedly cannot give the prime minister professional advice on any other field,” writes the paper. “It must therefore be noted that his appointment [as chief adviser] is a political act. Is Nikol Pashinian thereby stopping Valeri Osipian from talking about the reasons for his resignation?” Osipian promised to give those reasons “later on” at a farewell meeting with senior police officials held on September 18. The paper speculates that he thus threatened to “speak up if something is not done” by Pashinian.
“Aravot” weighs in on an unfolding debate over whether Armenia’s police and National Security Service (NSS) should be headed by career officers or political appointees. “There is no definitive answer to this question,” editorializes the paper. It points out that both security agencies were already run by political figures in the 1990s. It believes that the government should curtail the NSS’s powers, saying that the Armenian successor to the Soviet KGB should not deal with crimes like corruption and tax evasion.