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Press Review


“The latest Russian-Georgian escalation may provoke chain reactions in the other regional countries by disrupting an extremely shaky balance of forces that has been established here in the past ten years,” writes “Hayots Ashkhar.” “As a result of the Russian blockade, Georgia is becoming increasingly dependent on Azerbaijan’s energy resources and Turkey’s trasport highways. It was no accident that the meeting of the transport ministers of Azerbaijan and Georgia in Baku on October 13 is aimed at finalizing agreements on the financing of the Kars-Akhalkalaki railway and starting its construction in January 2007.” The paper says Azerbaijan is keen to speed up implementation of the politically motivated project “at any cost.”

“Aravot” reports that the ongoing anti-Georgian campaign in Russia is beginning to affect the Russian-Armenian community as well. “Of course, this is not the first time that Russia is not treating its little strategic partner and centuries-old brothers with due respect,” the paper says in an editorial. But it says this is the first time that Armenians are being discriminated against in connection with Russia’s disputes with Georgia.

“Azg” says the Russian-Georgian row is also creating “problems” for ethnic Armenian residents of Georgia’s Javakheti region. The paper explains that Russia’s refusal to issue visas to Georgian citizens is forcing the local population to think about obtaining Armenian passports. “Many representatives of the Javakheti Armenians want to have Armenian citizenship because they still hope to earn a living in Russia,” it says, adding that even some ethnic Georgians are now considering applying for an Armenian passport.

Newspapers also report on the release late on Wednesday of parliament deputy Hakob Hakobian and his possible prosecution. According to “Hayk,” Karen Karapetian, the leader of the People’s Deputy parliamentary group of which Hakobian is a member, has met with Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian and asked him to make sure that the controversial lawmaker is not stripped of his immunity from prosecution. “But Sarkisian replied that this is to be decided by [Robert] Kocharian and that there is nothing he can do to help a member of his [Republican] party. Kocharian, for his part, seems to have decided to punish the man who challenged the chief of his bodyguards, Grisha Sarkisian.”

“Haykakan Zhamanak” says Hakobian’s saga illustrates “how Robert Kocharian can demolish the HHK,” speculating that a similar fate might be awaiting other wealthy Republicans. Kocharian is doing everything to ensure that the HHK majority in parliament “feels humiliated.”

(Atom Markarian)
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