“Golos Armenii” dismisses speculation that the next ex-Soviet revolution will take place in Armenia. “In Armenia there is no clearly pro-American force that can certainly win … If tomorrow America relies on [Levon] Ter-Petrosian, few will be surprised. They don’t care what will happen next. What matters to them is to cause a turnaround in orientations.” So the Americans, claims the Russian-language paper, are not so much trying to set up a pro-Western force in Armenia as to “ruin the pro-Russian Artarutyun bloc.”
“Iravunk,” meanwhile, continues to assert that the United States regards Armenia as “the most likely candidate” for the next Western-backed popular revolt. The paper also says the intensifying war of words between the U.S. and Iran will soon create “new difficulties” for Armenia.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that the most radical Artarutyun party, Hanrapetutyun, is riven by infighting between its pro-Russian and pro-Western wings led by Albert Bazeyan and Aram Sarkisian respectively. The paper says Bazeyan and former Defense Minister Vagharshak Harutiunian are opposed to Sarkisian’s efforts to form a new pro-Western opposition grouping. “It is clear to everyone that the Russian authorities are prepared to do everything to prevent regime change in Armenia.” The pro-Western paper says the two factions are gearing up for a showdown expected during the March 4 congress of Hanrapetutyun. “Experts believe that hopefully Hanrapetutyun’s rank-and-file members who have been fighting for radical changes in Armenia for the past several years will back the party’s leader Aram Sarkisian.”
“Aravot” says the leadership of the Yerkrapah Union disagrees with those who believe that it is controlled by the authorities. Yerkrapah leaders also suspect that the authorities are behind efforts to set up a splinter group of Karabakh war veterans that will act as a counterweight to Yerkrapah.
In a separate editorial, “Aravot” assures readers that “in reality there are no evil centers that are plotting conspiracies against the Armenian people.” “There are simply different national and state interests that may or may not coincide with the national interests of our state,” the paper explains.
“Hayots Ashkhar” says Turkey is intent on offsetting upcoming events that will mark the 90th anniversary of the Armenian genocide by showcasing its “tolerance toward Armenia and Armenians” and at the same time toughening its policy on Armenia. The paper says the Turks are offering Yerevan a deal whereby they would agree to a “soft recognition of the genocide as a tragedy” and a reopening of the Turkish-Armenian border in return for assurances that the Armenians will not attempt to hamper Turkey’s membership in the European Union.