“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” claims that Armenia may not after all get a $500 million loan promised by Russia. The opposition paper says the Armenian government had asked the Russians to announce the release of the loan even if they decide not to provide any assistance to Yerevan. It says the government wants to use that announcement as an “optimistic backdrop” in its efforts to attract funding from other donors. “So it is not yet known whether that sum will reach its destination any time soon, especially given the fact that terms for the release of the loan have not been specified,” says the daily.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” also contends that Russia already has sufficient economic leverage against Armenia and needs the latter only as a “military outpost.” “But in one way or another, they have no problem here,” it says. “Why would they pay for something that is offered free of charge?”
Opposition leader David Shahnazarian assures “Iravunk de facto” that the Armenian opposition continues to hope that it can effect positive change in the country by “constitutional means.” He says that for the vast majority of Armenians “restoration of constitutional order” is a top priority. Shahnazarian also insists that the opposition movement led by Levon Ter-Petrosian is not slowly and steadily declining. He says “the quality of the movement” is only improving.
Hrayr Karapetian, a leader of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) and a deputy speaker of parliament, tells “Yerkir” that he believes that a dialogue between the authorities and the opposition should start without any preconditions and involve “a purely ideological debate.” “We too used to be in opposition but never jeopardized our statehood,” says Karapetian. He says that an unconditional dialogue was also a key point of PACE resolutions on Armenia and that the opposition is deliberately overlooking it.
“Hayots Ashkhar” complains that the Armenian authorities are ready to show a “political will” only in a way that would benefit Ter-Petrosian and his opposition alliance. The pro-government paper says the display of that will is not hampered by the fact that seven of the most prominent opposition prisoners are currently on trial. The authorities, it says, are ready to save those oppositionists from lengthy prison sentences.