“Hayots Ashkhar” notes that the Nagorno-Karabakh problem returned to the limelight last week. The paper links the development to the recent meeting between the U.S. and Russian presidents which it says triggered “new geopolitical movements in the region.” Those changes are forcing Presidents Heydar Aliev and Robert Kocharian to “revise their entire strategies of preparing for the elections of 2003.” The paper agrees with Kocharian’s assertion that by disclosing some alleged details of the Karabakh peace talks Aliev gave the Armenian opposition “necessary arguments for further escalating the ongoing political struggle in Armenia.”
“Azg” says that with the opposition planning “serious processes,” the Armenian leadership has found itself in an extremely difficult situation. “The opposition is beefing up its arsenal with the help of the government,” the paper writes.
The leader of the obscure National Security party, Garnik Isagulian, tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that some government members and their allies might soon defect to the opposition camp. He says that by endorsing Kocharian’s reelection plans they in fact pay him a lip service.
Hayk Sarkisian, dean of the Economics Department at Yerevan State University, calls into question the credibility of the Armenian government’s economic growth figures. Speaking to “Orran,” he says he is also skeptical about the sustainability of Armenian growth. “What we have is a pseudo-stability because it is accompanied by a fairly high level of unemployment. A desired influx of financial resources has still not been ensured; and serious problems with the shadow sector persist,” Sarkisian says.
Papers also report on the mysterious death of Vladimir Nazarian, a prominent Armenian lawyer. “Aravot” carries excerpts from interviews given by Nazarian at various times. The remarks are mostly critical of the current authorities.