In a year-end commentary, “Iravunk” looks at what it see as serious geopolitical setbacks suffered by Russia in Ukraine and other parts of its traditional zone of influence. “In essence, Moscow suffered defeat both in Ukraine and Armenia at the end of this year,” says the paper. “Moscow’s policy of supporting CIS regimes relying only on administrative resources and not enjoying popularity has suffered a fiasco and holds no promise anymore.”
That means, “Iravunk” continues, that a growing number of politicians in Armenia are becoming more pro-Western in their foreign policy orientation. In one such example, the hitherto pro-Russian party of opposition leader Artashes Geghamian voted for the dispatch of Armenian troops to Iraq. The paper says the Armenian authorities now hope that the failure of the opposition Artarutyun bloc to do so will preclude U.S. support for regime change in Yerevan.
According to “Hayots Ashkhar,” despite the dramatic events of last spring, the year saw a further weakening of “mutual hatred” developed by Armenia’s main political forces during the 2003 elections. The paper goes on to attack the three parties making up Armenia’s coalition government, saying that each of them is using every opportunity to turn its vested interests into a “political show.” “Thus, in the course of the past year the radical opposition was depleting its accumulated negative inertia, while the forces making up the coalition were wasting a considerable part of their energy on settling scores from within.” The paper also notes disapprovingly the Armenian opposition parties’ “vehement desire to demonstrate their pro-Western stance” that has been evident since last fall. But it is confident that the opposition tactics will be offset by the upcoming deployment of Armenian military personnel in Iraq.
“Azg” similarly claims that Armenian military presence in Iraq “will indirectly reinforce President Kocharian’s positions” and lead Washington to stop questioning the legitimacy of his regime. The paper says that voting against the deployment Artarutyun lost any chance of U.S. support.