In a rare praise of official Yerevan, “Haykakan Zhamanak” hails the cancellation of NATO exercises in Azerbaijan as a diplomatic victory for Armenia. The paper says Armenia’s “consistency” on the issue left Azerbaijan in international isolation.
“Hayots Ashkhar” says that NATO’s decision to scrap the Cooperative Best Effort 2004 war games dealt a “severe blow” to Azerbaijan’s international reputation. The paper says Armenia has succeeded in thwarting Azerbaijani efforts to use NATO for gaining advantage in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Baku hoped that its pro-Western foreign policy would do the trick. “But the policy of blackmailing Armenia turned at one point into an affront to the fundamental principles of NATO which could not have gone unpunished. This logical decision by the NATO leadership is not only a serious victory of principles espoused by our country but also a clear warning about new challenges facing Armenia.” The paper goes on to caution that the fiasco will make Azerbaijani more “unpredictable.”
“Iravunk” sees “a certain retreat from radicalism” on the part of both the government and the opposition. In the opposition camp, there are growing differences between the Artarutyun bloc and the National Unity Party (AMK). The latter has indicated its reluctance to again escalate the situation. There are also differences among the nine parties making up Artarutyun. The paper says their leaders strongly disagree on the idea of extending the alliance to other opposition groups such as the former ruling Armenian Pan-National Movement (HHSh).
One of those leaders, Hrant Khachatrian, tells “Aravot” that the opposition boycott of parliament sessions has proved “justified.” “That form of struggle is aimed at not so much scoring domestic political points as [sending a message to] the outside world,” he says. “The process is not yet over, but if they strip the opposition of the mandates there will be a big international scandal. The coalition parties have now realized that they must display a bit of independence … The opposition has won a small victory.”
“Ousting politicians that got hold of their posts with repression and fraud is a fantasy,” “Aravot” writes in an editorial. “After all, our people are not the International Olympic Committee to be able to revoke medals won by athletes using doping drugs. Identifying [the ruling regime’s] doping, namely legal violations, is practically impossible. To be more precise, it is possible to identify but not prove them because in this case playing the role of the IOC is the Central Election Commission which always sides with winners.” Changing government in Armenia by constitutional means is therefore impossible, according to the paper.