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Press Review


Aravot newspaper describes the Russian-Armenian deal on equities-for-debt as a formula for colonization of Armenia. All CIS countries have debt to Russia, and there are even countries which owe Russia billions of dollars. But non of them are in a hurry to repay the debt. Most importantly non of them even considers to cover the debt to Russia on a principle of equities-for-debt, selling their strategic assets to Russia as Armenia did, 'Aravot' writes. The paper believes that the debt-for-equities deal enabled Russia to control the Armenian energy market and created an opportunity for Russian Utility company RAO to overcome its financial crises. By signing
the deal the government of Robert Kocharian proved its loyalty to Moscow.

'Hayots Askharh' takes a global view on the equities-for-debt deal. The paper thinks that the deal is in the interest of both countries. The preparation for the Russian-Armenian deal has started long ago but the Russian side was eager to speed up the deal because Moscow wanted to gain a dominant position in the Armenian economy before the peaceful solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the reopening Armenia's communications and roads with the regional countries. This development would be an additional strengthening and stabilizing factor not only for Russian-Armenian relations but also for Armenia with its complex geopolitical situation, 'Hayots Ashkharh' concludes.

'Azg' daily follows the October 27 trial wondering whether the public has lost its interest in the trial. During the last few sessions the
suspects also ask no questions from the victims' side. Did they lost
interest to defend themselves or they just don't need a defense, the paper asks.

'Or' newspaper quotes official statistics, according to which 29 Armenian citizens are in jail facing death sentences. However, no death sentences have been carried out since Armenian's independence. There are no grounds now to believe that convicts would be put to death in the future. But the "October 27" trial is a different case, the papers concludes citing the second article of the Human Rights Convention, according to which, the state can have a law on death sentence for the crimes committed during the war or in the cases when war is inevitable. The October 27 case could fall into this category, because the perpetrators of the October 27 crime had undermined the foundation of the country which was de-facto in a state of war, 'Or'
suggests.

A pro-Armenian solution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is a fundamental principle of our statehood, and it is impossible to ignore this reality. "This is an issue because of which Armenia replaces its presidents" Armenian parliamentarian Semion Baghdasarian says in his interview with 'Hayots Askharh'. If the west tries to solve the conflict by putting pressure on the Armenian leadership, then Armenia would be forced to choose between Europe and our national interests. We have already made substantial concessions to become a member of the family of European nations. There will be no more concession even if we loose our membership in the Council of Europe, Baghdasarian tells 'Hayots Askharh'.

'Aravot' commenting on the issue of the reconstruction work in the central streets of Yerevan, which has angered anf discomforted city residents, speculates that the construction is in fact a money laundering scheme for the future electoral bribery fund of Robert Kocharian. Money laundering is not a new phenomenon in Armenia. But we have never witnessed a national scheme of this scale, 'Aravot' concludes quoting its partner internet magazine 'Taregir'.
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