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Press Review


“Hraparak” accuses the government of not doing enough to restore key supplies to Armenia that were disrupted by the Russian-Georgian conflict. The paper is also unhappy that Yerevan continues to “flirt” with Moscow despite Georgia’s vital importance for Armenia’s foreign trade.

“168 Zham” says Armenia’s fuel crisis is “deepening” contrary to government assurances that there is no shortage of petrol in the country. The paper points to long lines forming outside gasoline stations in Yerevan and reported black market trading in gasoline. It says the amount of petrol imported in recent days is not enough to meet domestic demand and warns that similar shortages could also emerge in the domestic bread market.

“The petrol crisis has proved the assertion that most of the fuel imported to Armenia, about 60 percent, is in the shadow sector, not registered at the border and, naturally, not taxed,” says “Haykakan Zhamanak.”

“No government official has visited relatives of the people killed on March 1,” writes “Zhamanak Yerevan.” “The ad hoc commission of the National Assembly investigating the events of March 1 has also forgotten the existence of victims’ relatives.”

“Although the authorities are going out of their way to conceal the truth about the March 1 events, the case is being quickly solved and only naïve persons can find official versions of events credible,” claims “Haykakan Zhamanak.” The opposition paper says the parents of one of the victims of the unrest have publicized facts proving that their son was fatally wounded after being arrested on March 1.

“I cannot assert that we have overcome the March 1 syndrome,” human rights ombudsman Armen Harutiunian tells “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “Without that we won’t have a normal development in our country.”

In an interview with “Aravot,” Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian says he and other senior Armenian army officers, who suspended their membership in the Yerkrapah Union after the February presidential election, have been ousted from the influential organization’s board by its chairman, Manvel Grigorian. Ohanian says the Grigorian’s order violated the Yerkrapah statutes which stipulate that only a Yerkrapah congress can make such decisions.

“Hayots Ashkhar” dismisses Grigorian’s fresh assurances, contained in a statement this week, that Yerkrapah has stayed away and will continue to stay away from “political intrigues.” The pro-government paper says Yerkrapah “has always been at the center of political intrigues” throughout its existence.

“Aravot” says the consolidation of opposition forces around the Armenian National Congress (HAK) led by Levon Ter-Petrosian is a welcome development but it should be based on a common program and values. The paper says the HAK will fall apart if it fails to effect regime change in the coming months because that is the only goal uniting its member parties.

(Hrach Melkumian)
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