“Hayots Ashkhar” expresses skepticism about the results of the upcoming Armenian-Azerbaijani summit in Russia, saying that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is likely to remain “frozen.” The pro-presidential paper claims that the publics and political elites in Armenia and Azerbaijan are “unprepared” for a compromise settlement. “The existing geopolitical realities also make the resumption of a new Armenian-Azerbaijani war impossible,” it adds.
“Iravunk” is confident that Ilham Aliev and Robert Kocharian will not sign any agreements in Kazan. “There is now a diplomatic skirmish going on between Yerevan and Baku,” writes the paper. “The essence of the Azerbaijani threats is that Azerbaijan will consistently increase its military expenditures and make it equal over time to Armenia’s entire budget, which should make Armenia more conciliatory on the liberated territories.” The paper says that threat is “real” in the long term.
Garnik Markarian, the leader of a small opposition party called Homeland and Honor, tells “Aravot” that Russia views Armenia as a “colony.” Markarian also accuses Russia of blocking exports of Iranian natural gas through Armenian territory. “If they [the Russians] are such kind uncles, why aren’t they thinking about the reopening of the [Abkhaz] railway?” he says. “It’s their railway and it is not Armenia that has to make investments.”
Interviewed by “Aravot,” political commentator Aghasi Yenokian says the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) is “imposing” constitutional amendments because it wants to “save its face.” Yenokian predicts that Armenians will boycott the November constitutional referendum in large numbers “regardless of the what the opposition says.” The expert is also convinced that the authorities will fail to rig the vote because “the oligarchs and their skinheads” will have no personal interest in breaking the law this time around. “Robert Kocharian may issue such a [vote rigging] order, but he too is not particularly interested in the success of this reform,” he says.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian’s son Ara ran over and seriously injured a 25-year-old man in downtown Yerevan as he drove an expensive German car that belongs to the Armenian Foreign Minister and is meant to cater for visiting foreign dignitaries. The man, identified as Karen Gyunjian, was hospitalized. The paper recalls that Oskanian caused a similar accident last January when he rammed another Foreign Ministry car into a metal pole just outside Yerevan. The Mercedes, donated to the ministry by the Armenian community of Iran, was left seriously damaged.