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Press Review


Writing on the ninth anniversary of the October 1999 deadly attack on Armenia’s parliament “Golos Armenii” seeks to disprove long-standing opposition claims that the killings were masterminded by Robert Kocharian and Serzh Sarkisian. The paper argues that Nairi Hunanian and four other gunmen that seized the main parliament audience stayed alive after assassinating Prime Minister Vazgen Sarkisian, parliament speaker Karen Demirchian and six other officials. “Furthermore, at that moment President Kocharian acted as the guarantor of their security and he ensured it,” it says.

“Taregir” notes that the parliament attack anniversary coincided with a series of murders and shootings reported by the Armenian police in recent days. The paper calls them the latest “vivid manifestation of terror reigning in the republic.”

“All this once again proves that Armenia is a criminal state,” claims another opposition paper, “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.” “Such high-profile killings can occur in any country of the world. It’s just that in other countries the police try to fight against that, whereas the police in Armenia simply have no such task. That is, police as such do not exist in Armenia. In Armenia, the police do not fight against criminal structures and instead receive instructions from those structures.”

Galust Sahakian, a leading member of the Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), assures “Hayots Ashkhar” that the HHK is not seeking to win the ongoing local elections across the country “at any cost.” “When the Republican Party backs a particular candidate, then it shoulders responsibility for his further activities, even if he is not affiliated with the party,” he says.

Opposition leader David Shahnazarian tells “Zhamanak Yerevan” that Russia and the United States are “acting separately” in their efforts to broker a solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “The Russian Federation is now playing a minor role in this process,” he says. “Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to Armenia was merely an attempt to at least formally underline Russia’s presence in the settlement process. I am convinced that U.S. role in the settlement is much larger at the moment and that perhaps the U.S. is somewhat underestimating its capabilities. Russia, by contrast, overestimates its capabilities.”

“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that Justice Ministry bailiffs have denied reports that they forced the Bjni mineral water company owned by Khachatur Sukiasian, a fugitive businessman and opposition parliamentarian, to shut down because of its failure to pay a $13 million fine slapped by tax authorities. The paper says they at the same time admitted sealing off Bjni’s warehouse and impounding its vehicles.

(Aghasi Yenokian)
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