“Hayots Ashkhar” reports that a coalition of ethnic Armenian organizations in Javakheti called on the Georgian government to grant the region the status of an autonomy during a weekend gathering in Akhalkalaki. The paper says the demand is justified also because “Georgia is evidently becoming a tool in a Turkish-Azerbaijani policy aimed at blockading Armenia.” “Either Armenia and Georgia must combine their own human and communications resources or should not be surprised with and complain about the Samtskhe-Javakheti population’s natural aspirations to self-defense and self-preservation.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” notes in this regard that “Russia’s efforts to destabilize Georgia” have been unsuccessful so far not least because they ran counter to Armenia’s national interests. “Armenia’s authorities always stopped a further upsurge in tensions [in Javakheti] at the most decisive moments,” says the paper. What makes the situation different now is the planned construction of the Kars-Akhalkalaki-Tbilisi railway. “Implementation of that project is a direct blow to Armenia’s national interests and before getting carried away with it the Georgian authorities must realize that no Armenian government, whether it is nationalist or liberal, can be indifferent to its implementation,” warns the paper.
Interviewed by “Haykakan Zhamanak,” the leader of a Javakheti party called Virk, David Rstakian, makes a case for a regional autonomy. He also accuses the Georgian authorities of “doing everything” to force the local Armenians to emigrate. “All of this inevitably means that we must have an elected administration in Javakheti that would be able to ensure our security,” he says.
“Aravot” says the fact that the mayor of an Armenian town can kill someone in broad daylight speaks volumes about the intellectual level and moral integrity of the country’s local government chiefs. The paper says settling disputes verbally or through court action is considered by them as a sign of weakness. But it says they are only following the example of the central government which, for example, “had the guts” to close a TV channel which it did not like.
“Hayots Ashkhar” discusses the renewed strengthening of the Armenian dram against the U.S. dollar. “Processes going on in Armenia’s currency market have little to do with developments in the international market,” says the paper. “The Central Bank is reinforcing the dram by all means in order to ensure price stability.”
“Azg” reports that the All-Armenian Fund Hayastan will use proceeds from its upcoming telethon in the United States for implementing infrastructure projects in Nagorno-Karabakh’s northern Martakert district. “The total cost of the program is estimated at $10.43 million,” says the paper. The executive director of the fund, Naira Melkumian, is quoted as saying that a key aim of the program is to bring back local residents that left Martakert during and after the war.