The 13th anniversary of Armenia’s declaration of independence from the Soviet Union is the dominant theme of Tuesday’s Armenian press commentary.
“Now, as many as 13 years after the independence referendum, it seems harder for us to figure out what to do with the acquired independence,” “Aravot” editorializes grimly. “For what we have now is a dependent independence. In reality, we are dependent on superpower games more than ever before, and sooner or later they will put us against the wall and force to make a ‘final choice’ which we still don’t want to do. Nor is there a full understanding of the fact that we must strive not for a declarative but real independence.” The paper argues that Armenians are still debating whether they should adopt a Russian or Western orientation.
“Today’s well-stocked shops don’t mean anything,” says “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “Because the stocking of shops is accompanied by the emptying of people’s souls and their ideas of the future are becoming murkier. But our independence and young state must not be cursed because of the existing situation. After all, the independence and the Republic of Armenia are but an expression of our collective wish to be better off in a better country and our collective readiness and responsibility to become the masters of our own fatherland. Of course, we don’t live in a better country and are not better off and today’s plunderers do not seem less impudent than the Communists.” The paper says the only way to right the country’s wrongs is to fight for the rule of law and democracy.
“The whole nation voted for independence and the whole nation therefore bears responsibility,” says “Hayots Ashkhar.” “If we look for the guilty we will have to blame ourselves because the right to form and change government also belongs to us, namely those who unanimously voted for the independence. If we can not manage our lives then as a nation state we will lose all prospects because nobody will solve our problems in our place.”
“Azg” believes that freedom and independence can not be achieved without “deprivations and losses.” But it emphasizes that “those must not come at the expense of one part of the people as opposed to the other, much smaller part.”
“Iravunk” laments that only small groups of Armenian citizen dare to fight for their rights. The paper says the ruling regime must be happy with this situation and afraid of opposition attempts to mobilize an anti-government movement.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” claims that throughout his five-year presidency Russian President Vladimir Putin deliberately supported his authoritarian counterparts in the Commonwealth of Independent States in the hope that they will have “certain problems the United States.” The paper says the ex-Soviet dictators’ efforts to cling to power run counter to “American values.” “Only one thing unites the leaders of almost all CIS countries. They all usurped power and feel great affinity towards each other.”
“But the future of Putin’s empire looks uncertain,” “Haykakan Zhamanak” adds. “Armenia must do everything in order not find itself under the rubble of the Russian Empire,” it concludes.