Quoting Armenian Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian's comment that Armenia's debt to Russia was not a big deal and Armenia could have found money to pay $100 million over 7 years, Aravot says that the Armenian government was lying to Armenian Parliamentarians trying to convince them that Russia would certainly impose economic sanctions against Armenia if Armenia would not agree to repay the debt by handing over its enterprises to the Russian side. It was rather a political issue than economic necessity for the Armenian government, which was eager to show to Russia that it has unconditional loyalty to its big brother (Russia) not to the West, the paper says. The Russian president Vladimir Putin would value the loyalty of the current regime and thus will support it in the upcoming presidential
and parliamentary elections, Aravot concludes.
In today's editorial, "Orran" newspaper harshly criticizes Armenian
government's claims about high growth of Armenia's economy and its successes in job creation. The current regime is playing more politics than economics in its economic policy and nobody explains why the living standards of the population is on constant decline despite the government's claims that it has a successful economic policy.
"Hayots Askharh" and "Haikakan Zhamanak" have critical views on upcoming presidential elections in Nagorno-Karabakh and the fact that there is no one to challenge the current president Arkadi Ghukasian. According to "Haikakan Zhamanak" the chairman of the Constitutional Rights Union, Hrant Khachatrian, a citizen of Armenia, who wanted to challenge Arkadi Ghukasian in the upcoming presidential elections helped to legitimize Robert Kocharian's bid for re-election in 2003.
Armenian papers also comment on harsh treatment of Armenians living in the Russian southern region of Krasnodar. "Hayots Ashkarh" believes that the Russian government in fact is interested in having militant nationalist groups. The power structures in Russia are supporting these groups, because extremists help to divert the attention of ordinary Russians from social and economic problems. Whom would they (Russians) blame if there were no refugees
from Southern Caucasus, the paper asks? Without doubt people will
concentrate on economic hardships if there were no problem of people
with "Caucasian appearance", "Hayots Askharh writes.
Some people believe that the United States is interested in solving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict by exchange of territories between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Is it true? Answering to "Hayots Askharh's question, Armenian Ambassador to the United States Arman Kiragosian says that the assumption is not true. There are some plans and projects designed in different US think tanks, including the famous Paul Goble plan, which had been recommended to the State Department. It is possible that some of them are in accordance with the US policy, but it doesn't mean that Washington wants to impose the principle of territorial exchange as a solution to the
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Kirakosian says. Commenting on the recent
statement of US that it recognizes Azerbaijan's territorial integrity,
Kirakosian says that there is no change in the US policy here, because
Washington has never said that it doesn't recognize territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. The main reason for the comment by the US spokesman on Azerbaijan's territorial integrity was the fact that Azerbaijan had put pressure on Washington during the recent visit of the foreign minister of Nagorno-Karabakh Naira Melkumian to Washington D.C, Kiragossian explains.