“Aravot” says a group of Russian journalists visiting Armenia this week came away very impressed from a meeting with Robert Kocharian. The Russians found him very open to the media and sincere in his judgements. This is totally incomprehensible for a paper highly critical of the Armenian authorities. It says most Armenian journalists will probably disagree with the Russians’ view. As far as they are concerned, Kocharian is anything but frank and open. Some of them have actually been stripped of the possibility of interviewing him.
“Aravot,” quoting unspecified government sources, says that major cabinet changes are a real possibility later this month. It claims that both Russian and US officials have told Kocharian they do not want to deal with Prime Minister Andranik Markarian anymore.
The chairman of the Hanrapetutyun party and a former leader of the Yerkrapah Union, Albert Bazeyan, tells “Haykakan Zhamanak” that he and many of his associates now regret having supported Kocharian in the past. They realized that it was a “serious mistake” several months after he became president. “Our main target now is Robert Kocharian, and his ouster will destroy the entire vicious system of government in this country,” Bazeyan says. He also accuses Kocharian of creating an “atmosphere of intolerance” in Armenia.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” quotes Victor Dallakian, a senior member of the Armenian parliament, as saying that the talk of giving Georgia’s Armenian-populated Javakhetia region an autonomous status results, among other things, from inept policies of the Tbilisi government. But he adds that reasons for periodical tensions there are not only socioeconomic. Dallakian admits that “external factors” such as Russia’s presence in the region are also at play.
“One gets the impression that some forces in Armenia are trying to whip up tensions in Javakhetia and Armenian-Georgian relations in general,” writes “Aravot.” It is Russia that stands to gain from that, not Armenia, the paper says.