“If Armenia’s president declares tomorrow that we have an intention to join NATO, then the next day Russia will avenge our audacity and encourage an Azerbaijani attack on Karabakh by moral and military means,” writes “Aravot.” “At this point there seem to be no guarantees that the West would provide us with sufficient resources to cope with those moral and military dangers. It appears that our goal seems has to be the creation of such guarantees in a restrained and calm manner, without drastic statements, without a Saakashvili-style bravado. Unfortunately, our leadership is moving in the exactly opposite direction, further deepening our dependence on Russia.”
“Nobody is forcing us to integrate into Europe,” continues “Aravot.” “That is necessary for us, for our people.” The paper believes that the best way to get out of the Russian orbit is to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and democratize Armenia’s political system. “Those things are definitely not needed by our authorities,” it concludes.
“The Karabakh conflict is a bit different from the Abkhaz and South Ossetian conflicts,” a German political scientist, Tessa Hoffmann, tells “Hayots Ashkhar.” “In this case, there is no sponsoring superpower that unconditionally supports Karabakh, just like Russia supports Abkhazia and South Ossetia. True, there is the factor of Armenia. But Armenia, of course, is not Russia.” A good thing about this fact, according to Hoffmann, is that Armenia, Azerbaijan and Karabakh can settle the conflict without external interference.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that the analysis of the black box flight recorders of the crashed Armenian Airbus A-320 has revealed that the aircraft’s captain swore at a Russian traffic controller by radio, both in Armenian and in Russian, after hearing contradictory instructions from the latter. “He realized that they are being put to death,” claims the paper.
Minister for Urban Development Aram Harutiunian, who defected from Orinats Yerkir to retain his post, insists in a “Haykakan Zhamanak” interview that he did not betray Artur Baghdasarian’s party. “What did we betray?” he asks, referring to all Orinats Yerkir defectors. “We did not vow in front of a church not to leave the party to be considered traitors now.”
Meanwhile, a senior member of the former ruling HHSh party, Aram Manukian, tells “Iravunk” that he agrees with Baghdasarian’s allegations that some opposition politicians, notably Artashes Geghamian, have secretly collaborated with the ruling regime. Manukian wonders if Baghdasarian himself will cooperate with the “artificial opposition” in the coming months. If he does, the HHSh will not work together with the former parliament speaker, says Manukian.