“Iravunk” cites an unnamed government source in Stepanakert as saying that relations between Nagorno-Karabakh President Arkady Ghukasian and Armenian Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian “have deteriorated drastically” in the last few months. “The precise reasons for that are not yet known,” says the paper. “But presumably, it has to do with certain disagreements on the Karabakh settlement between the leaderships of Armenia and Karabakh. According to our source, in his contacts with his staff Arkady Ghukasian does not mention Serzh Sarkisian by name and instead uses a nickname which will hardly please Serzh Sarkisian.”
“All of this recently manifested itself in public as well,” continues “Iravunk.” “In connection with [Sarkisian’s passion for] chess, Ghukasian allegedly joked, ‘The only person who has no connection with Karabakh is [Armenian] Chess Federation chairman Serzh Sarkisian.”
Vartan Harutiunian, a human rights activist and Soviet-era dissident, tells “Aravot” that ordinary Armenians’ and Azerbaijanis’ perception of the Karabakh conflict is totally different from that of their governments. “There is an army of high-level state officials which established itself thanks to this conflict,” he explains. “This reality is an environment which feeds them and beyond which they can not exist. As for the two peoples, I am sure that they must, can, want and will leave in peace. There is no alternative to peace other than war. For centuries these peoples have lived together in the same territories, the same villages.”
“Hayastani Hanrapetutyun” reports that the price of electricity in Karabakh was raised by more than 40 percent on July 1. A senior official from the local power grid is quoted as attributing the measure to a “sharp increase” in electricity use in Karabakh. More than half of that electricity is purchased from Armenia, he says.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” presents a highly critical analysis of massive redevelopment going on in central Yerevan. “Somebody from Kocharian’s entourage tours the center of Yerevan, finds some plot of land where one can construct an ‘elite’ building, then buys it and gets a government decision stating that that plot is extremely necessary for the state’s needs. Then another member of that clan, who is as a rule close to Justice Minister David Harutiunian, comes over and valuates the property of people [living there] and offers a who refuse petty sum.” The paper says the owners have no choice but to accept it or deal with law-enforcement agencies.