“Aravot” says the Armenian officers’ failure to travel to Baku for a NATO conference showed that trilateral cooperation between Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkey is “not yet working even within the NATO framework.” “Armenia has done everything in this situation to present itself as miserable, humiliated and offended,” the paper says. “It would have probably been more appropriate to take offence when the Azerbaijani embassy in Georgia refused to give an entry visa to our delegation. How logical it was to resort to guerilla-type methods and try to sneak into Baku via Istanbul, hoping that it will be possible to get Azerbaijani visas at Baku airport?”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that the Armenian parliament’s leadership has acquired several new cars, with speaker Artur Baghdasarian switching from his predecessor’s armored BMW to a “winter jeep” that cost the state budget $70,000.
“Azg” rejects as false the Yerevan municipality’s claims that it is promptly cleaning up the streets of a large amount of snow that fell in recent days. The paper accuses the mayor’s office of spreading “obvious and shameless lies,” saying that many streets remain icy and covered with deep snowdrifts.
“Hayots Ashkhar” says that none of the existing Armenian opposition leaders is capable of uniting the anti-government camp. The paper predicts that the new opposition alliance which now seems in the making will collapse shortly after its creation due to a bitter leadership struggle. In addition, it says, the opposition will face heavy “crossfire” from the authorities. “Thus, only the emergence of new forces and new figures can give the opposition a chance to bring its disparate pieces together…Will the opposition realize that it should start out by raising the issue of regime change inside itself or will follow the trodden path the end of which is deadlocks well known to all of us?”
A senior prosecutor, Andranik Mirzoyan, denies in “Hayots Ashkhar” allegations that he tried unsuccessfully to force a man accused of attempting to assassinate Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian to testify against opposition leader Artashes Geghamian. Mirzoyan tells the paper that suspect Levon Abrahamian, who was sentenced to six years in prison this week, simply “slandered” him in a bid to escape punishment. He also rebukes Geghamian for accepting Abrahamian’s claims at a face value. “What Abrahamian declared in the courtroom did not and could not correspond to reality,” Mirzoyan insists. “Abrahamian is a supporter of Geghamian’s party and he, in my view, gave Geghamian political food for thought. Geghamian really needed political food to resurrect himself in the political stage.”