The Sunday parliamentary election in Ukraine is a major theme of Tuesday’s Armenian press commentary.
Its outcome gives “Iravunk” reason to contend that Russia has succeeded in stemming the tide of Western-backed revolutions across the former Soviet Union. The paper points to the poor showing of Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko’s party. Its predicts the “return of the Russian bear and restoration of Russia’s lost influence and positions” in its “near abroad.”
This view seems to be echoed by deputy parliament speaker Tigran Torosian. “Revolutions can’t be ends in themselves. They are means for coming to power,” he tells “Aravot.”
But as “Haykakan Zhamanak” writes, the election was a major success for Ukraine and the leaders of its 2004 Orange Revolution as it has been widely recognized as free and fair. “For the purpose of the revolution was to enable the people to make a free and fair choice and make it impossible for anyone to trample on their will,” says the paper. “Victor Yushchenko is playing his role of revolution leader with honor and is making no attempts to deny the people their right to be disappointed with the revolution and its results and to express their disappointment through a vote.”
“Today nobody believes that a few days after the elections Ukrainian law-enforcement bodies will arrest opposition leaders and activists, whereas in [neighboring] Belarus one of the opposition presidential candidates is behind the bars,” writes “Taregir.” “Ukraine has really moved in the direction of democracy and achieved serious success.”
“Iravunk” reports that Artashes Tumanian, the recently sacked chief of President Robert Kocharian’s staff, has denied planning to emigrate from Armenia. “I haven’t gone anywhere,” Tumanian is quoted as saying. “I am at home now and read a book. To those who spread such ludicrous rumors I will say that I will be the last person to leave Armenia.”
“168 Zham” reports that Kocharian’s Oversight Service has launched a financial inspection of the Yerevan offices of the U.S.-Armenian billionaire Kirk Kerkorian’s Lincy Foundation. The paper stresses the fact that Tumanian was the one who coordinated large-scale infrastructure projects implemented by the charity in Armenia.
“In our country there is no opposition which is capable of thwarting the entry of money bags to parliament,” complains “Golos Armenii,” referring to the growing political ambitions of Armenian “oligarchs.” “There is only an opposition which is ready to serve them.”
“Azg” likens the ongoing Russian-Armenian negotiations over the new price of Russian natural gas to a lengthy soap opera.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” claims that Russia’s Gazprom giant has succeeded in gaining additional industrial assets in Armenia in exchange for scaling back its price hike.