“Ayb-Fe” quotes Jerzy Jaskiernia, the Council of Europe’s top Armenia rapporteur accused by the opposition of pro-government bias, as saying that he has no reason to believe that President Robert Kocharian’s take on the political situation in the country is not objective. The paper also notes the fact that both the pro-government and opposition members of the PACE representing Armenia made essentially the same statements at Thursday’s session of the Strasbourg assembly. If the purpose of that unusual unity was to insert pro-Armenian language on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict into the text of the PACE’s resolution then it failed, concludes “Ayb-Fe.”
“It can be inferred from [opposition lawmaker] Shavarsh Kocharian’s clarifications that the opposition had no alternative,” says “Haykakan Zhamanak.”
“During this session we managed to work with our opposition colleagues and find optimal wordings in a number of amendments,” deputy parliament speaker Tigran Torosian tells “Hayots Ashkhar” from Strasbourg. “I am convinced that this is very significant.”
“Ayb-Fe” editorializes that potential presidential candidates in the ruling establishment, notably parliament speaker Artur Baghdasarian, are already positioning themselves for the race to succeed Kocharian. “They have already begun telling people here and there that after Kocharian will come Serzh and the only way to get rid of the Karabakhis is to rally around the ‘Yerevan guy’ Artur Baghdasarian.” The paper urges Armenians not to buy the argument.
According to “Iravunk,” such talk is prompted by “signs that the positions of the country’s president are weakening.” Only the Dashnaktsutyun party and the opposition are not in a hurry to “take drastic steps.” The Dashnaks have already made public their grievances and are awaiting Kocharian’s response, while the opposition is rubbing its hands in anticipation of heightened government infighting.
“Russia does not want to reopen the [Georgian] border and is laying the blame on Georgia,” reports “Azg.” “The border is closed and it is unclear when it will be reopened. The statements about the border’s reopening made by the Russian side could cause further misunderstandings.” The existing situation at the main Russian-Georgian border crossing is fraught with a “humanitarian crisis,” warns the paper.
“According to the logic of this Russian approach, Armenia must forget that it has problems in the region and serve only Russian interests,” opposition leader Vazgen Manukian tells “Ayb-Fe.” One is led to conclude that if Russia’s interests on other issues also contradict Armenia’s interests it will never take into account our interests.”