“Russia now effectively owns the bulk of Armenia’s energy facilities and [electricity] distribution network,” laments “168 Zham.” “In all likelihood, the Russians will soon get hold of the Fifth Unit of the Hrazdan power plant, the Armenia-Iran gas pipeline, the telecommunications sector and so on.” The paper wonders if Armenia’s leading political forces intend to “fight against this neo-colonization.”
“The authorities do not seem to resist. Whether they do not want to or can not [resist] does not matter,” continues “168 Zham.” “Most of the opposition does not show signs of resistance either. Entrusting Russia or anyone else with running our economy means also entrusting it with the Karabakh problem and our position on that problem. Needless to say Karabakh has already been given to Azerbaijan in the past by Czarist Russia, Communist Russia and Gorbachev’s Perestroika-era Russia.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that the European Court of Human Rights has refused to rule on an appeal by two Armenian opposition activists against Robert Kocharian’s eligibility to contest the presidential election of 2003. The oppositionists argued that Kocharian had not lived in Armenia and was not an Armenian citizen during the previous ten years. The paper says one of the three European judges who threw out the appeal was Armenian Alvina Gyulumian.
“Hayastani Hanrapetutyun” publishes the basic principles of a draft law on dual citizenship that has been put forward by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun). The document states that Diaspora Armenians can become citizens of Armenia only after settling in Armenia and submitting documents proving their Armenian origin. They would also be required to contribute a “certain percentage” of their income to the tax authorities in Yerevan. Dashnaktsutyun considers this a “national duty.”
In an interview with “Hayots Ashkhar” deputy parliament speaker Tigran Torosian stresses the importance of having “full-fledged” political parties in Armenia. “The country can not become strong free and ensure its citizens’ well-being, unless it has a healthy multi-party system,” says Torosian.