According to “Aravot,” what is happening in Armenia and Russia is an “imitation political life” that precludes the holding of free elections and the existence of independent courts and electronic media. “There are of course certain differences between our countries,” writes the paper. “Russia sells oil and gas, whereas we buy those commodities. Therefore, they are getting richer and we poorer at the moment, as a result of which most Russians love [Vladimir] Putin, while we don’t love our leaders.”
Interviewed by “168 Zham,” Bagrat Asatrian, the former chairman of the Armenian Central Bank, challenges his successor and the newly appointed prime minister, Tigran Sarkisian, to explain why the police prevent him and other supporters of Levon Ter-Petrosian from entering Yerevan’s Liberty Square. “Let him explain what will reign in our country: law or arbitrariness, and I will say whether or not he can succeed,” says Asatrian.
“It is pathetic that the West continues to insist that [the government] must start a dialogue with the opposition,” Artyom Khachatrian, a political commentator, tells “Hayots Ashkhar.” “I just can’t imagine that. On what topic should the newly elected president and Ter-Petrosian have a dialogue? … I don’t know what one can discuss with Ter-Petrosian.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports and comments on the 76th birthday anniversary of Karen Demirchian, the former leader of Soviet Armenia and parliament speaker assassinated in the October 1999 attack on the National Assembly. The paper says that the government promised to erect his statue in Yerevan following the parliament shootings but has still not done that. It also reports that Armenian Public Television is refusing to broadcast a government-funded documentary about Demirchian which was produced last year.
“Azg” reports that Karine Khodikian, a deputy minister of culture, has stepped down for reasons which she says have nothing to do with politics. Khodikian is quoted as saying that she wants to revert to writing theater plays and needs to regain the “calm” needed for doing such work.