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Press Review


“Aravot” shrugs off Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian’s Wednesday remark that the Armenian opposition, not the government, is to blame for Armenia’s worsened democratic image abroad. The paper says Oskanian thereby implied that Armenians must allow their rulers to rig elections and stifle dissent without any qualms.

“168 Zham” scrutinizes the resumes of senior Armenian parliamentarians and other officials, saying that many of them claim to have received higher education and scientific degrees only recently. That is, after entering government and/or becoming rich. Oligarch Gagik Tsarukian, for example, is shown in a parliament directory as having graduated from Yerevan’s State Institute of Physical Culture at the age of 33. Another wealthy parliamentarian, Samvel Aleksanian (aka Lfik Samo), was 34 when he received a graduate diploma from the State Agricultural Academy. Two other lawmakers with equally notorious nicknames also graduated from the same university in recent years.

According to “Haykakan Zhamanak,” the former director of Armenia’s National Security Service, Karlos Petrosian, was sacked last month not because of a scandal involving his reputedly unruly son, as rumors suggested. Petrosian’s son is no worse than the offspring of many other high-level officials, says the paper. It claims that Petrosian was fired because he regularly briefed Russian intelligence officials on the political situation in Armenia and its possible developments and promised Moscow “to carry out lobbying in favor of one of the scenarios.”

“One of the main players in that scenario is the leader of the Nor Zhamanakner party, Aram Karapetian,” adds “Haykakan Zhamanak” without elaborating. “Robert Kocharian and Serzh Sarkisian took this as a treason.”

In an interview with “Hayots Ashkhar,” Kocharian’s national security adviser, Garnik Isagulian, comments on assurances by the entourage of Levon Ter-Petrosian that a 1997 peace plan advocated by Armenia’s former president would not have put Nagorno-Karabakh under Azerbaijani control. Isagulian says they must also prove that the plan would formalize Karabakh’s de facto secession from Azerbaijan. “It is because of politicians with such mentality that we failed during our history to get a political cover for our victories,” says the retired ex-KGB officer. “For there always popped up individuals and forces that were prepared for unfounded concessions and were forcing the people to choose between the bad and the worst.”

(Vache Sarkisian)
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