“Aravot” reports that experts from the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe did not discuss Armenian constitutional amendments at length during their meetings with senior officials in Yerevan on Friday. “The main objective of their visit was to meet with the country’s leadership to clarify positions,” says the paper. Opposition lawmaker Shavarsh Kocharian claims in this regard that the experts felt that a detailed discussion would not be productive at this point.
“Some European structures, preparing to seriously criticize Azerbaijan for its political prisoners, lack of press freedoms and other shortcomings in the course of the summer, are looking for a pretext to put Armenia on the same plane and counterbalance their criticism,” deputy parliament speaker Vahan Hovannisian tells “Ayb-Fe.” He says this is why the Venice Commission issued its highly critical statement on Armenia last week.
“Hayots Ashkhar” reports that Armenia’s governing coalition has yet to formulate a common stance on this issue. The paper says none of the coalition leaders has stated so far that the Armenian authorities are ready to accept all Venice Commission recommendations.
“In essence, the Venice [Commission] people are against giving Kocharian royal powers,” writes “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.” “They say, ‘If you have entered the European family, then the basic law of your country must be brought into conformity with European standards.” The paper says unlike ordinary citizens of Armenia, the authorities “do not want to understand this simplest truth.”
Asked by “Iravunk” when the wave of post-Soviet “revolutions” will reach Armenia, a foreign policy aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin, replies, “I hope that such a thing will never happen.” “I believe that the country can not be handed over to those who see nothing except their own global historic role and forget that they play with the fate of their own people,” adds Modest Kolerov. He also says that “one should not expect a solution to the Karabakh problem from the West.”
“Iravunk” also reports that the chairman of the Yerkrapah Union, General Manvel Grigorian, has been touring various regions of Armenia with a hard-line message on Karabakh. “Let Azerbaijan not threaten us with war,” Grigorian is quoted as saying. “They tried it once and saw whose kid cried. That is why they moan from time to time.”
“Aravot” comments that the failed referendums in France and Holland mean that “the idea of enlarging united Europe hasn’t worked.” “There are now no external incentives to move forward with European values.” The paper claims that European structures’ standing in Armenia has taken a serious battering and that Yerevan will again gravitate toward Russia. “The latter doesn’t give a damn about how democratic our country and constitution are, how free and fair our elections are.”