"Robert Kocharian is handing over the Karabakh issue to his successor in, to put it mildly, a less-than-good shape,” writes “Aravot.” “Azerbaijan is becoming increasingly aggressive. Border skirmishes are now more frequent. Our neighbors are threatening to abandon Minsk Group mediation, refusing to meet Armenia’s newly elected president and trying to move the issue to the UN where states sympathizing with us are definitely not in majority.” The paper is unimpressed by Kocharian’s calls for Armenia to recognize the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, saying that such a move would kill the peace process.
“Recognizing the NKR’s independence today means stopping the negotiation process,” agrees “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.” “Is it good or bad for Armenia? We can claim yet another ‘moral victory.’ We can organize festive events. But Armenia would immediately find itself in Karabakh’s position. Namely, it would become a de facto unrecognized state. It would be naïve to think that Robert Kocharian does not realize this. He does. He also realizes that his and Serzh Sarkisian’s latest actions will leave Armenia in international isolation.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” says although Kocharian and his team have done a generally good job of running Armenia, there is a need for a “large-scale personnel renewal” in the country’s leadership. “Stagnation is not a good thing,” argues the paper. It also says that various government factions are now bitterly fighting against each other for government positions, using “inappropriate methods such as hints at secret collaboration with [Levon] Ter-Petrosian.”
“In Armenia, if you are not a member of Robert Kocharian’s and Serzh Sarkisian’s entourage, if you do not duly carry out orders issued by at least one of them and, what is more, are a bit of a dissident and had a slight involvement in the Opera rallies, you must be prepared for anything,” says “Zhamanak Yerevan.” “They may arrest you on the street or fire you without explanation, prosecute you, search your shop, accuse you of handing out vote bribes, find cartridges and weapons in your home.”
“Azg” says many Armenians have reason to be unhappy with their government. “But few people ask whether there was less such discontent five or ten years ago,” says the paper. “Naturally, five or ten years ago, not to mention the period before, there was more such discontent and more people were in a bad socioeconomic condition. But that discontent did not translate into actions aimed at destroying the state … The people who embraced the actions inspired by Levon Ter-Petrosian must understand that if they cut the hand that feeds them, they will hurt themselves, and not the former president.”