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Press Review


“Hayots Ashkhar” continues to argue against regime change in Armenia, saying that little has changed in Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan since their Western-backed revolutions. “Has there been a change of the public and economic order in Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan? Undoubtedly, there hasn’t. Those were not really revolutions,” editorializes the pro-presidential paper. “Such velvet coups are merely a way of changing elites in the post-Soviet space.” The paper argues that if President Robert Kocharian were lose power “a considerable part of the current ruling elite” would remain in government. “Is it therefore worth taking to the streets and facing all kinds of unpleasant things for the sake of that?”

A senior member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) tells “Aravot” that the country’s leadership may not have been aware of the latest police attempts to disrupt rallies held by opposition leader Stepan Demirchian outside Yerevan. Ruben Hovsepian says many police officers still do not know how to handle such situations and think that their anti-opposition actions will only be praised by their superiors. “They may and do commit mistakes out of fear,” he says. The paper says representatives of Dashnaktsutyun’s two coalition partners are much more vague in their comments on the issue.

“Haykakan Zhamanak” denounces Prosecutor-General Aghvan Hovsepian’s plans to stage a giant circle dance around Armenia’s highest mountain as “an act of mass humiliation.” The paper says Armenians are effectively forced to take part in the controversial undertaking and satisfy Hovsepian’s political ambitions.

“Aravot” claims that nobody seems to have benefited from the Russian-Armenian equities-for-debt agreement. The paper says the issue again came to light during and after Tuesday’s meeting of the Russian-Armenian commission on inter-parliamentary cooperation. Its Russian members claimed that promised investments in the five Armenian enterprises covered by the deal have not materialized because Russian businessmen do not like Armenia’s business environment.

“True, Armenia got out of that debt,” writes “Aravot.” “But government promises that investments will flow [into Armenia] like a river and new jobs will be created after the deal were too optimistic. As for the Russian side, its losses are no less substantial. Armenian enterprises were handed over to Russian state bureaucrats, rather than entrepreneurs.”

“Russian businessmen consider our economy risky,” explains “Azg.” “They are cautious in establishing business ties with Armenia. They lack faith in free [business] competition in Armenia. They fear that some monopolized sectors [of the Armenian economy] will not be open to new investments.”

(Vache Sarkisian)
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