“Hraparak” criticizes the Armenian government for ruling out the possibility of Armenia’s pullout from the Commonwealth of Independent States anytime soon. The paper claims that Armenian policy-makers have “neither a penchant for freedom, nor a sense of solidarity of with those craving for freedom.”
“Iravunk” says that the fighting in South Ossetia has ushered in “enormous changes” not only in the South Caucasus but the entire world. “Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has heralded the start of a new era where the principle of territorial integrity [of states] no longer takes precedence … It is clear that momentous times await our country,” the paper says, seeing new possibilities of strengthening the Armenian position in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “And yet our Foreign Ministry is busy doing anything but that,” it claims.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” describes Armenia’s stance on the Russian-Georgian conflict as “astounding,” criticizing President Serzh Sarkisian for his week-long silence. The paper also notes that Sarkisian discussed the situation with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev by phone and only sent a written message to Georgia’s Mikheil Saakashvili. “It looks as though Serzh Sarkisian took this as a unique opportunity to make an overture to Dmitry Medvedev and Russia in general,” it says.
“Hayk” says Sarkisian offered his condolences to Saakashvili only after the opposition criticism. The opposition paper says he was forced to do that by Levon Ter-Petrosian and his Armenian National Congress (HAK).
“Hraparak,” for his part, believes that with his message to Saakashvili Sarkisian “rectified a political mistake.”
Interviewed by “Aravot,” Stepan Zakarian, a former opposition parliamentarian, defends Yerevan’s decision to keep a low profile in the regional crisis. “When we say that Armenia should have done this or that, we should not forget that if you are not a superpower you need to be allowed to behave in a certain way,” says Zakarian. “They asked us to provide a humanitarian corridor and we obliged. If they approach on another issue, we’ll do that. But to put our nose into an issue which is somewhat unprecedented is wrong.”
Speaking to “Hraparak,” Ruben Hakobian, a former leader of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun), again criticizes the nationalist party for its decision to stay in government after the February presidential election. “Orinats Yerkir’s and Dashnaktsutyun’s entry into the [ruling] coalition further polarized the political field,” says Hakobian. He also reaffirms support for the idea of pre-term presidential and parliamentary elections. “It is about time we held at least one fair election,” he says.