(Saturday, July 16)
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that the parties to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict are currently trying to reach an agreement on “possible time frames for a referendum and Nagorno-Karabakh’s interim status.”
For “Hayots Ashkhar,” it is obvious that the Armenian side is now more constructive towards and “tolerant” of even “unacceptable” peace proposals from the Minsk Group co-chairs than the Azerbaijanis. The paper finds this approach “inappropriate.” It goes on to claim that the Armenian authorities are likewise tolerant of their domestic political opponents. But this doesn’t prevent the latter from becoming even more “intransigent” in their demands, it says.
“Hayastani Hanrapetutyun” reports that tensions between the opposition Hanrapetutyun and People’s parties over the distribution of election commission seats reserved for the Artarutyun alliance are mounting. The paper says Hanrapetutyun is threatening to boycott an Artarutyun meeting that will decide who will represent the opposition alliance in the electoral bodies. “Even if it takes part in the meeting, the final rupture between the HZhK and Hanrapetutyun will happen there.”
According to “Haykakan Zhamanak,” Hanrapetutyun is at odds with the eight other Artarutyun parties also over the issue of constitutional reform. Hanrapetutyun issued a statement late Friday which reiterated its strong opposition to any cooperation with the authorities on the issue.
“Hayots Ashkhar” points to speculation that this month’s drastic worsening of mobile phone connection provided by the ArmenTel operator was somehow linked to the launch of Armenia’s second wireless network. The paper notes in this regard that the second operator, VivaCell, has lured a number of senior ArmenTel executives and engineers away from the Greek-owned company. Among them is Yannis Kralis, who served as ArmenTel’s commercial director until last February.
“Azg” is outraged by ArmenTel’s latest claims that the situation with mobile phone service is returning to normal. “Such a statement could cause any subscriber using the mobile network to lose their temper because it absolutely does not correspond to reality,” comments the paper.
A former parliament deputy tells “Golos Armenii” that Russia’s Unified Energy Systems (UES) asked him a year ago to act as a middleman in its efforts to buy Armenia’s power distribution network. Taron Sahakian says the Russians also spoke with him about his AFA company’s possible “involvement in Armenia’s political arena.” “Furthermore, I was offered to resort to actions escalating the political situation in case there is some opposition to that deal in Armenia. Naturally, they were also offering necessary financial guarantees.” he says, adding that he turned down the offer.
Sahakian also reveals that Andrey Rapoport, the UES vice-chairman, controls “100 percent of the internal cash flow of Armenia’s energy sector and 80 percent of electricity generated by power plants and exported abroad.” “The existing situation where Armenia’s entire energy system is controlled by certain individuals is not only about financial gain but also an instrument for solving serious political issues.”