The internal situation in Armenia and the lack of a clear political “orientation” first of all affects the mass media. Most traditional mass media, especially the television seem lost and do not know how to react to internal political changes. Perhaps they are just waiting when Armenia will go back to the way they know well.
The Republican Party of Armenia headed by Serzh Sargsyan has stated about the European orientation of Armenia and does everything to sign the Association Agreement by autumn. In parallel to this, the West takes measures to have the blockage lifted and open the railway at least from Armenia to Turkey. For its part, Russia is trying to keep Armenia in its zone of influence.
These transformations are not visible in the Armenian media. However, the politicians also prefer not to talk about it. Perhaps the inertia also plays a role in this. For a long time the pro-Russian position has been considered identical to the pro-government. Accusations and even reproach against the political moves of Russia were considered sedition, and a pro-West, pro-American or pro-European position was considered as conspiracy against the authorities, hence the state.
The vertical of the power was very clear - the petty kings, tycoons, “sponsors” of defined area or spheres, the Republican government, and, finally, the Kremlin. Now the vertical has been broken in two places. On the one hand, some oligarchs are no longer perceived as authorities, and on the other hand, the direct link between the presidential administration in Yerevan and the Kremlin is no longer perceived as something absolute.
A lot of political scientists and the mass media really don’t know how to react. They are used to be led by one position: the authorities, the oligarchs and Moscow on one side of the barricade and the society, the “venal” opposition and the West on the other. Now when everything is confused, the authorities are not considered purely pro-Russian, politicians and mass media have to choose between the authorities and Russia.
The choice for many politicians and mass media is the worst punishment ever because it may inflict risks. If you criticize the government for a pro-West position or for supporting Russia, you will automatically become opposition. If you criticize Russia, you don’t know how it will end up. After all, Russia could regain its former position, and then you will have to pay for your independent choice.
The issue of Armenia's relations with Russia and the West is very subtle. It remains a taboo although everyone understands that it is the core of the political process not only in Armenia but also the region. However, Armenia still shyly hides this issue under the fig leaf though everyone knows what is hiding underneath it.
Russian businessmen of Armenian origin are in a similar situation. According to the Chorrord Inqnishkhahutyun Newspaper, Ara Abrahamyan, Samvel Karapetyan, Karen Karapetyan and Muradyan brothers will soon come to Armenia. They want to find out how they should behave in the presidential elections. Moreover, they are “accountable” to the Russian authorities for their ties in Armenia.
Either Serzh Sargsyan should give them guarantees that the whole pro-Western policy is just a game, and that he is not going to “betray” Russia, or “let” the Russian business to go to another candidate who will issue a pro-Russian position.
But this topic will hardly be discussed publicly, and for its part, the most important issue of geopolitical orientation will not become a topic of public discourse. It will become a regular small issue on orientation of separate politicians though the change of orientation has always been a milestone in the history.