“Iravunk” compares the political situation in Armenia to a calm before a storm. The paper argues that the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) is to present a long list of demands to President Robert Kocharian which can be met only by breaking up the ruling coalition. Dashnaktsutyun and the two other coalition parties also disagree on on foreign policy issues such as the highly damaging Council of Europe report on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “Everything in Armenia is happening against the background of an accelerating Karabakh settlement and a West-Russia rivalry.”
“Aravot” speculates that “European structures” have drawn up their own peace proposals on Karabakh and will soon send them to the conflicting parties. It says those proposals uphold Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity. The paper says Karabakh was high on the agenda of Monday’s meeting between opposition leader Artashes Geghamian and Germany’s ambassador to Armenia, Heike Renate Peitsch. Geghamian is quoted as saying that the Europeans are coordinating their peace efforts with the United States.
“Hayots Ashkhar” reports that Russia’s decision to close its border with Georgia is already taking its toll on the Armenian economy. Armenian officials, meanwhile, are unaware of the situation on the main Russian-Georgian border crossing. A government spokeswoman says everything depends on the easing of tensions between Moscow and Tbilisi.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” continues to report on threats by an extreme nationalist politician, Armen Avetisian, to publicize a list of government officials and parliamentarians who he claims are homosexuals. The paper says the threats have spread “unprecedented confusion” both in the National Assembly and the government. Avetisian says an official from the presidential staff visited his party’s office on Monday to try to find out “how real the information we have is and when those names will be made public.” “I have received phone calls from many deputies and senior officials that are also wondering when those names will be publicized,” he says, promising to do that by the end of this year.
“Aravot” reports that the chairman of the Armenian parliament’s committee on legal affairs, Rafik Petrosian, has accused Deputy Justice Minister Tigran Mukuchian of being an agent of the Freemasons. Petrosian cites Mukuchian’s opposition to specifying the ethnic origin of Armenian citizens in their birth certificates. But Mukuchian denies that he is a member of the mysterious sect. Mentioning ethnicity in birth certificates would breach human rights, he says.