May 25
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YEREVAN. – Hraparak daily of Armenia writes: The conflict that arose at the end of last year with the Artsakh [(Nagorno-Karabakh)] authorities—when there were harsh reactions from Artsakh to [Armenia PM] Nikol Pashinyan's year-end press conference—has a continuation. Let us recall that Pashinyan had said in a virtually open text that it is pointless to cherish hopes in the matter of Artsakh's independence and status.

Even Artsakh President Arayik Harutyunyan had responded to his [i.e., Pashinyan’s] statements, stating, "Full recognition of the Artsakh Armenians' right to self-determination is not subject to any reservation or concession, and the sole master of this matter is the Artsakh Armenians themselves. Only the authorities of the Artsakh Republic are authorized to speak on behalf of the population of Artsakh.”

Arayik Harutyunyan, who arrived in Yerevan these days to attend [Armenia’s Defense Minister Suren] Papikyan's wedding, yesterday attended also the consultation on Artsakh affairs that was held at the government, during which Pashinyan said, "In 2022, the government of Armenia will provide about 144 billion drams in budget support to Artsakh. In 2021, that number exceeded 100 billion drams."

The CC [i.e., the ruling Civil Contract Party] circles were puzzled yesterday. They were saying that during the days of the conflict, Pashinyan had told the [political] team [of his] that, "After the [Artsakh] war [in the fall of 2020], I sent enormous aid to Artsakh, but a considerable part of it ended up ‘in the pockets of Arayik and his close circles.' He [i.e., Pashinyan] even had said, "If I start investigating that case now, they will say, 'It is political persecution against us.' So, I am not doing [it]."

Yesterday they were asking: if the money that entered Artsakh in [20]21 was misappropriated, why do they allocate a greater amount of money [to Artsakh] in 2022 without punishing?

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