“Hayastani Hanrapetutyun” quotes Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian as telling a group of Russian journalists on Monday that Azerbaijan’s latest threates to resolve the Karabakh conflict by force are a “blackmail.” “If they have indeed set themselves a goal to resolve the conflict by military means, why are they trumpeting it to the world?” he said. “Are they thereby warning us to get better prepared for war or warning the international community? I don’t quite understand. We are not afraid of war. But we don’t want war either.”
“If Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh lag behind Azerbaijan economically, then one must blame that not on Azerbaijan, Turkey or the international community but on ourselves because that would testify to the impotence of our authorities,” political commentator Aleksandr Iskandarian tells “Azg.”
“Iravunk” reports on Sunday’s commemoration of the late Prime Minister Vazgen Sarkisian’s birth anniversary, singling out a speech delivered by the deputy director of Armenia’s top military academy bearing Sarkisian’s name. The paper quotes Hovannisian as pouring scorn on President Robert Kocharian’s new chief of staff.
“Vazgen Sarkisian wanted to build a state, fight for the homeland, not spineless Armenchiks,” he said.
“They again started closing down opposition offices,” “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” comments in reference to Raffi Hovannisian’s Zharangutyun party.
“The harrassment of the Zharangutyun party began after last year’s referendum on constitutional changes,” says “168 Zham.” “The probable reason for that was Raffi Hovannisian’s unprecedented activity in the run-up to the referendum.”
“Aravot” carries a statement by the Communist Party of Armenia (HKK) saying that government-connected thugs attacked the HKK office in the southeastern town of Goris, smashing and throwing away its property. The paper portrays this as another sign of a renewed government crackdown on the opposition.
“The politically active part of the society has grown finally convinced that there are neither political forces, nor idelogical struggles in Armenia,” writes “Golos Armenii.” “There are only business entities operating under political banners, which are trying to snatch their share of power and authority. The population does not trust the parties. Neither the governing, nor the opposition ones.”