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Press Review


“Nothing has changed in Turkey’s policy towards Armenia and the Armenian people,” writes “Hayots Ashkhar.” “As was the case in the past, Turkish terrorists and diplomats work together against us Armenians. It’s just that diplomats took center stage after Hrant Dink’s murder. Now terrorist threats can be heard alongside their sweet words.” The paper says Turkey’s main preoccupation is to scuttle the passage of an Armenian genocide resolution by the U.S. Congress.

“Aravot” reports on Monday’s statement by the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group. “This statement is absolutely no different from other statements made by them one, two or five years ago,” comments the paper. It says the mediators’ cautious optimism is “not serious” given Robert Kocharian’s pledge to suspend the peace process until the elections and Ilham Aliev’s constant threats to resolve the conflict by force.

“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” looks for political motives behind the ambitious idea of building a Russian oil refinery near Armenia’s border with Iran. “Armenia’s regional isolation is deepening,” says the paper. “Parallel to that, the international community is stepping up pressure on the Armenian authorities, demanding that they make concessions on Karabakh. Significantly, they have begun to realize in Armenia that it is impossible to carry on like this for long and that at some point Armenia may bow to Western pressure and sign a peace accord. And that would be beneficial for everyone except Russia. For if peace is established in the South Caucasus, Russia will not have anything to do here.” The paper speculates that the oil refinery project is a Russian ploy designed to stop Armenia from cutting a peace deal with Azerbaijan.

“Hayk” notes that Armenia will hold an election on a Saturday, rather than a Sunday, for the first in its post-Soviet history. “Kocharian did not schedule the elections for [Sunday] May 13, apparently fearing the unhappy number 13,” suggests the paper.

“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that Henrik Kochinian, the recently sacked governor of the northern Lori region, resigned on Saturday as leader of the local branch of the governing Republican Party (HHK). The post was promptly given to the new Lori governor, Aram Kocharian, says the paper.

“Iravunk” analyzes the latest list of Armenia’s 300 largest corporate taxpayers released by the State Tax Service this week. The paper says it shows that the Armenian authorities are still failing to crack down on tax evasion in earnest. “The list of the large taxpayers gives the impression that very often even the most famous Armenian companies are engaged in businesses that cause them losses or generate negligible profits,” it says, adding that the ‘loss-making’ businesses are usually owned by well-known wealthy individuals.

(Atom Markarian)
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