(Saturday, November 25)
“Hayots Ashkhar” reports that President Robert Kocharian again ruled out Nagorno-Karabakh’s return under Azerbaijani control during his visit to Cyprus last week. “It is clear that Karabakh will never agree to return to the previous status,” he is quoted as telling members of the local Armenian community. “It is obvious that Karabakh will in no case renounce its independence.” Kocharian added that resolution of the Karabakh conflict could take years and even decades.
Kocharian’s top economic adviser, Vahram Nercissiantz, tells “Aravot” that the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) is the only party that could come up with a viable “social-democratic” alternative to the free-market liberal policies pursued by Armenia’s current leadership. “But the leadership of Dashnaktsutyun has chosen to side with the winner, the liberals, even though our economic achievements have been accompanied by numerous social problems,” says Nercissiantz. “In my view, if Dashnaktsutyun fails to assume the role of a social-democratic counterweight, I will unfortunately predict that at this critical juncture the party will depreciate and condemn its to the marginal status of other traditional [Armenian] parties.”
“Zhamanak Yerevan” reports that Artur Baghdasarian, Armenia’s former parliament speaker, was snubbed by the Kremlin during his recent visit to Moscow. The paper claims that Baghdasarian asked for a meeting with senior officials from Russian President Vladimir Putin’s administration. The Kremlin responded by telling him to submit a relevant request in writing through Armenian embassy in Russia. Baghdasarian, who leads the pro-Western Orinats Yerkir party, similarly failed to meet representatives of the governing United Russia party, according to the paper.
“Hayk” says Armenian nationals traveling to Russia are now required to have officially certified Russian-language translations of their passports in violation of widely accepted international practices. Those Armenians who do no have such translations face deportation or have to pay kickbacks to Russian police and border control officials. “They have no right to demand passport translations, that is illegal,” a spokesman for the Armenian Foreign Ministry, Vladimir Karapetian, is quoted as saying. “I am surprised to hear such a thing from you. I believe that they do not demand translations from a citizen of any country of the world.”
“168 Zham” reports that a 28-year-old son of Aleksandr Givoev, a reputed Armenian crime figure who was shot dead last summer, has died in a car accident in Russia. The paper claims that Leonid Givoev too had close underworld connections.