“Hayots Ashkhar” says Russia’s decision to temporarily close its main border crossing with Georgia has left Armenia in a “difficult situation.” “I don’t want to give a political subtext [to the move] yet,” Prime Minister Andranik Markarian is quoted as saying. “But one thing is clear: Russia and Georgia have an agreement saying that [each party should give the other] a three months’ notice in case of a change in the border regime. This has not been done this time.” The situation, according to Markarian, is “very serious.”
According to “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun,” Russia has “once again demonstrated that it doesn’t give a damn about Armenia and its strategic alliance with Armenia.” “Of course it would be wrong to say that the Armenian authorities are not doing anything to address the situation. Our government is taking drastic measures. Very drastic ones,” the paper comments sarcastically. “In particular, they have asked the Russian authorities to delay repairs on the Upper Lars [border post] by one month, until the apricot season ends in Armenia.”
President Robert Kocharian’s national security aide, Garnik Isagulian, assures “Hayots Ashkhar” that the Karabakh peace process “will have a continuation.” Isagulian says the mediators unrealistically thought that the Karabakh conflict can be resolved within a year. “This was not feasible in view of the Azerbaijani side’s unconstructive position,” he says.
“Azg” says that Prime Minister Andranik Markarian’s Republican Party (HHK) and Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia are already emerging as the key contenders of the 2007 parliamentary election. “Needless to say that in essence they are rallying around not ideas but two government figures who decide many things,” the paper says in an apparent reference to Kocharian and Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian.
“Taregir” expects an “inevitable clash” of these political forces, saying that “Kocharian can not think of any leader other than himself.”
“The term of the political system headed by Robert Kocharian seems to be expiring, and it is understandable that in this situation political force making up the government are becoming more active than the opposition,” an HHK parliamentarian, Armen Ashotian, tells “Aravot.”
Justice Minister David Harutiunian tells “Haykakan Zhamanak” that most members of Armenia’s government will “very soon” be chosen and appointed from among elected lawmakers. “Getting elected to parliament is one of my future goals,” he says. “I intend to participate in the National Assembly elections. That doesn’t mean I have decided to again occupy a ministerial post.”
Interviewed by “Golos Armenii,” Dashnaktsutyun leader Armen Rustamian predicts a tough struggle between “democracy and the power of money” in next year’s elections. “I hope that political forces will become conscious of this threat and manage to jointly control democratic processes,” says Rustamian. “In this case, I wouldn’t divide them into pro-government and opposition forces. I am talking about those forces that have a political history.”