“Haykakan Zhamanak” derides Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian’s claims that the international community has come to terms with Karabakh’s independence and no longer supports Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity. The paper cites statements by officials from Russia, the United States, China and other countries to disprove that argument.
“Ayb-Fe” does not take seriously renewed speculation about a rift between President Robert Kocharian and Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian. “We reckon that Kocharian would be very happy to hand over to Serzh Sarkisian. He will have no 100 percent security guarantees under any other scenario,” argues the paper. “It looks like they themselves are spreading rumors about their disagreements.”
The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) hits back through its “Yerkir” weekly at Prime Minister Andranik Markarian for his derisive reaction to its concerns about the existence of a “plutocracy” in Armenia. Markarian said this week that the Dashnaks “learned a new word but don’t know how to use it.” The paper responds that “some politicians have heard the term characterizing their power.”
“Aravot” reports that the parliament seat which used to be held by Mushegh Movsisian, a parliament deputy who died recently after a car crash, is set to be inherited by his brother Arakel who is running unopposed in the constituency in southern Armenia. The paper recalls that Arakel Movsisian was jailed in 1999 for drug possession, fraud and misappropriation of humanitarian assistance provided to local villages. He was also involved in a violent incident in the area ahead of last year’s presidential elections. “In a word, he is a positive character, a guarantor of political stability in Armenia. There are many people like him in our present National Assembly.”
“Azg” writes that Russian Transport Minister Igor Levitin sounded so confident on Thursday about reopening Armenia’s rail communication with Russia via Georgia and Azerbaijan that it looked as though he is totally unfamiliar with the situation in the region. “In general, Levitin’s [flawed] Russian was incomprehensible for Armenian journalists, not because of our poor knowledge of Russian,” the paper jibes.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” treats Levitin’s promises as “humor.” The paper says Levitin’s idea about rerouting Russian-Armenian trade through Iran is tantamount to shipping cargo from Moscow to Saint-Petersburg via Siberia.