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Press Review


“Hayots Ashkhar” says Russia’s latest “gas [price] attack” on Armenia and several other ex-Soviet states marked the end of the “first era of post-Soviet history.” The paper says Russia has until now based its relations with other CIS countries on the “concept of limited independence.” From now on Moscow will look at “who and to what extent has angered it.” The paper also says the Gazprom monopoly is now replacing the Russian Foreign Ministry as the institution in charge of implementing the Kremlin’s policy on the rest of the ex-USSR.

“Azg” says the final weeks of this year showed that the Armenian opposition is “crippled,” both physically and mentally. The authorities are making the most of this situation. “But their gains will be worth nothing as long as they lose the people, the real carriers of statehood,” writes the paper. “And because political life does not tolerate a vacuum, new parties sprang up at the end of the year and several others are getting ready to spring up.”

“The past year rendered our ship more usable for sailing,” writes “Hayastani Hanrapetutyun.” Armenia’s path forward is open and “predictable,” says the government paper, adding that the nation simply has to stay the course.

“Hayots Ashkhar” similarly regards 2005 as a “year of serious achievements” by Armenia. The pro-government paper says opposition efforts to exploit issues like constitutional reform for making another push for power ended in complete failure. Instead of uniting, opposition forces grew even more fragmented. “Contrary to that, the country not only led a normal life, but properly marked the 90th anniversary of the genocide and organized a circle dance of unity on the slopes of Mount Aragats.”

“Surely, the most important political event of the past year was the process of constitutional reforms,” writes “Hayastani Hanrapetutyun.” “According to PR specialists, the opposition could have brilliantly used the constitutional occasion by declaring the improvement of the [constitutional] draft a result of its own efforts.” The constitutional referendum instead became a “success” for the ruling regime.

(Hrach Melkumian)
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