“Hayots Ashkhar” sees a new “timeout” in international efforts to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, claiming that “serious differences” have emerged among the three co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group. The paper says those differences stem from Washington’s support for Georgia’s and Ukraine’s bids to join NATO.
“The Karabakh problem, which has been in deadlock until now, has entered a closed circle which Armenia can not and apparently does not want to leave,” writes “Zhamanak Yerevan.” “For we are continuing to do our best to cater for Russia’s interests.” The paper accuses Russia of trying to perpetuate its “police presence” in the region. It claims that Russia is behind the “anti-criminal movement” launched by the Armenian opposition. Its purpose is to “bring about political instability” that could allow for a pro-Russian regime change in Yerevan.
“Aravot” looks at the “merger of government and business” in Armenia. The paper says there are “one or several coordinators” at the helm of the country who hand out businesses and lucrative government jobs to various groups or individuals loyal to the regime. “Breaking up that system is not realistic and is even very dangerous,” it says. “Reforming or making it more ‘civilized’ is extremely difficult but possible.
“Aravot” suggests that the “coordinators” tell their loyalists: “What you have done until today -- plundering, stealing, beating, smashing, evading taxes -- will remain yours. Don’t seek to become parliament deputies in order to insure your money. Nobody will touch you. Don’t try to get into central or local government bodies. That won’t increase your wealth. So from now on, you will stick to the rules.” The question is, concludes, whether they will trust such assurances.
“Aravot” reports on “violations” of the electoral law ahead of next month’s local election in Yerevan’s Ajapnyak district, saying that rival candidates have set up campaign offices and begun spreading propaganda before the official start of campaigning.
“168 Zham” reports that a brother-in-law of Deputy Defense Minister Manvel Grigorian has beaten up and shot a man in the town of Echmiadzin because he did not like the style of the latter’s car driving. The paper says the local police failed to register the incident.