Commenting on President Robert Kocharian’s latest visit to Moscow, “Hayots Ashkhar” says that Russia is not interested in regime change in Yerevan because only the current Armenian leadership can ensure Armenia’s “predictability and stability.” “New challenges emerging in the region enhance Armenia’s role and significance in Russia’s policy,” the paper says. “Russia has visibly bolstered not only its military-political but also economic positions in Armenia. Therefore, any deep upheaval inside our country and a new election campaign fraught with unpredictable consequences could be tantamount to staking [Russia’s] acquired large capital on a kind of roulette. That is why Russia needs to rule out risks in Armenia.”
“Aravot” says that in his interview with Russia’s state-run RTR TV channel Kocharian sought to cast himself as a “caring father of the people, a proponent of democratic values who is giving lessons to his mentally poor political rivals.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian effectively stated on Wednesday that the Armenian authorities might “suspend democratization processes” in the country. The paper cites him as saying that the Armenian opposition is to blame for that.
“Iravunk” claims that all political processes in Armenia are motivated by “external orientations” of the main players. “The line is being drawn between those oriented towards Europe and supporters of the Russian-American line,” the paper says, putting the Armenian government in the latter category. It says that is why the authorities are not in a hurry to meet Council of Europe demands for an end to their crackdown on the opposition. “But that support can not last for long because neither Moscow nor Washington, as [Ajar leader Aslan] Abashidze’s example showed, are particularly inclined to make efforts to help some rulers cling to power.”
“It is already obvious that the goals set by the opposition are not feasible and by continuing to pursue them they will gradually find themselves outside the political field,” a leader of the Republican Party, Galust Sahakian, tells “Hayots Ashkhar.” The opposition will be replaced by other “more constructive” forces, Sahakian says. But he adds that the emergence of such forces could also pose a serious danger to the ruling coalition and even result in its “dissolution.” Sahakian describes in this regard the row between parliament speaker Artur Baghdasarian and Justice Minister David Harutiunian as an alarming development.
“The incumbent president must at last realize that he is supremely responsible and accountable for the existing situation and that he must personally take steps to rectify that situation,” former Foreign Minister Raffi Hovannisian tells “Iravunk.” “If he does not, then the situation will rectify him.”