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Press Review


“Whatever the outcome of the hostilities unfolding in Georgia, they have already set a precedent and can somewhat influence the policy of states drawn into territorial disputes,” writes “Haykakan Zhamanak.”

“Aravot” says Russia is acting with “particular brutality and cynicism.” “In essence, that is a flexing of imperial muscles wrapped up in an unconvincing pacifist rhetoric,” editorializes the paper. Even so, it says, Armenia must display “utter neutrality” in the Georgia crisis.

“The terrible thing is that with its mentality the Russian authorities are almost no different from skinheads,” writes “Hraparak.” “In such countries skinheads will thrive. Impunity produces such results and it can’t be excluded that a new wave of persecutions and murders of Caucasian people, including Armenians, will begin in Russia. So we Armenians will fail to maintain neutrality in this conflict and come out of it unharmed.”

Political expert Manvel Sargsian tells “Hraparak” that Russia’s aggressive intervention in Georgia should discourage Azerbaijan from attempting to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict by force.

“Virtually all regional states except Armenia have expressed a clear position on this war,” complaints “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.” “Serzh Sarkisian has not even bothered to interrupt his vacation and return to Armenia … On the purely human level, we should certainly sympathize with South Ossetia because that small mountainous republic is effectively fighting for independence and was subjected to an aggression. The existence of the Karabakh conflict also obliges us to be on Ossetia’s side. To recognize Georgia’s right to bomb Tskhinvali means to acknowledge that Azerbaijan too has the right to wipe out Karabakh. But there is a second side to the story. Russia is trying to forcibly keep the entire ex-Soviet space under its influence, and Georgia is fighting against that aggressive superpower. In this sense, we should definitely sympathize with the Georgians.”

“Haykakan Zhamanak” says the beating of its correspondent Lusine Barseghian highlighted the nature of Armenia’s ruling regime. The opposition paper claims that President Serzh Sarkisian has personally sanctioned such incidents to cement his grip on power. “But the goal which the kleptocracy set itself is doomed to failure,” it says.

“Aravot” quotes Mher Sedrakian, mayor of Yerevan’s Erebuni district, as saying that although he was “angered” by Barseghian’s articles he had no hand in the attack. “I’m not a girly man,” he says. “I don’t beat women or the dead. I would just shave that girl’s hair and that would be it.”

“168 Zham” believes that the police can easily identify and arrest Barseghian’s attackers. “Assuming, of course, that it is not the police that organized this savage act,” says the paper.

(Hrach Melkumian)
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