In an interview with the Mediamax news agency published by “Aravot,” U.S. Ambassador John Evans says Armenia’s next parliamentary and presidential elections must be judged democratic by both the Armenian public and the international community. Evans says another troubled election would create a “big problem fraught with enormous risks” for Armenia.
Citing an unnamed source in the U.S. embassy in Yerevan, “Iravunk” reports that Evans met with opposition leader Stepan Demirchian a few days ago. The paper says the envoy stressed the importance of democratic elections for Armenia. He also said the United States and the international community as a whole do not want pre-term polls in the country. “John Evans added that the U.S. government will do everything to ensure that the elections meet international standards.”
“Aravot” is concerned about continuing violent incidents reported from Georgia’s Armenian-populated regions. Pointing the finger at Russia, the paper says tensions are stoked by those who want to undermine Armenian-Georgian relations in a bid to reverse their waning influence in the region.
“Time has shown that in these conditions of deep blockade Armenia is managing to not only survive but also develop, and if the provisions of the next [Karabakh] settlement package are unacceptable to us, it will be rejected,” a senior member of the governing Republican Party, Gagik Minasian, tells “Hayots Ashkhar.” “We can continue to indefinitely live and develop the way we have done in the past years. There is nothing which we can trade Karabakh for.”
Interviewed by “Hayots Ashkhar,” political pundit Suren Zolian says the idea of a referendum of independence in Karabakh in the return for the liberation of occupied Azerbaijani lands should be accepted by the Armenian side as “a basis for the start of negotiations.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” expects that the Hanrapetutyun party of Aram Sarkisian will break away from the Artarutyun alliance very soon. The paper reports that the party’s leadership held on Monday “heated discussions” on whether the three Hanrapetutyun deputies should surrender their parliamentary mandates and start “revolutionary activities.”
“I don’t agree with those who constantly talk about revolution but don’t take any concrete actions,” a senior Artarutyun member, Stepan Zakarian, tells “Iravunk,” attacking Sarkisian’s party.
Felix Tsolakian, head of Armenia’s State Taxation Service, tells “Hayastani Hanrapetutyun” that his agency boosted its tax revenues by 28 percent in the first half of this year.