“Hayots Ashkhar” says the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic is marking the 12th anniversary of its declaration of independence as an “established state.” The paper says the major world powers spearheading the Karabakh peace process have made it clear to Azerbaijan that “they no longer view Karabakh as its integral part.” The next round of peace talks, expected after the October 15 presidential election in Azerbaijan, promises to be “decisive” for the region’s future international status. “The existing information suggests that none of the mediators agrees to the idea of returning the NKR to Azerbaijan with the highest degree of autonomy…Time has worked in favor of the Armenian side. Therefore, a quick solution to the problem could scuttle the rehabilitation period needed for us.”
But according to “Iravunk,” the NKR is “not an established state.” “The list of achievements is not that long,” the pro-opposition paper writes. “The only and probably the greatest achievement is the military victory over Azerbaijan…which is gradually losing its significance.”
One of the congratulatory messages to NKR President Arkady Ghukasian, sent by the chairman of the Yerkrapah Union of Karabakh war veterans, stands out. In that message printed by “Hayastani Hanrapetutyun,” General Manvel Grigorian speaks of the 11th, not the 12th, anniversary of Karabakh’s independence. It is not clear why.
“Iravunk” predicts a further escalation of tensions inside the governing coalition. “The government camp will see the most unexpected shifts, and a government official will turn against a government official in an open or covert way,” the paper says.
“Relations between the Dashnaktsutyun and Republican parties have once again deteriorated,” writes “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “The reason for that is that at the recent meetings of the ruling coalition Dashnaktsutyun representatives raised the issue of distributing the posts of deputy minister on the coalition basis. The prime minister’s party believes that the issue of vice-ministers is the government’s internal affair and must not be addressed on the partisan basis.” A Republican leader, Galust Sahakian, tells the paper that no party should “meddle in the government’s affairs.”
A deputy speaker of the National Assembly, Dashnaktsutyun’s Vahan Hovannisian, tells “Haykakan Zhamanak” that he is no less ambitious that speaker Artur Baghdasarian who has been criticized for his high-profile meddling in government affairs. Hovannisian avoids criticizing Baghdasarian but also stops short of denying differences between the coalition partners.
“Aravot” says the ArmenTel monopoly’s arguments made at the ongoing hearings on its dispute with the government are largely unfounded. But some of them, relating to the extortion of illegal customs fees from its imported equipment, make sense. There is little corrupt government officials can do now except keeping silent. The paper claims that they have received substantial bribes from ArmenTel in recent years.