“Aravot” comments on Russian State Duma member Sergey Markov’s complaints that Armenian members of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) did not voice support for Russia during the recent debates in Strasbourg on the conflict in Georgia. In a video conference from Moscow last week, Markov said the Armenians should make a choice between “friends and the West’s colonial interests.” “If our friends want us to help them, they must not flee the battlefield,” he said.
“Mr. Markov is not quite fair,” editorializes “Aravot.” “As if occupying almost half of the neighboring country (Georgia) was not enough, they want us to fight for [the Russians] on this issue. This example clearly illustrates why we become vulnerable in the international arena because of unresolved internal problems.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” reports that the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) has begun distributing leaflets telling supporters how to behave during the upcoming March 1 rally in Yerevan. One of the rules listed in the leaflets is that HAK supporters must not only refrain from arguing or insulting police officers but also avoid any contact with them. “Well, the leadership of the Congress has finally acknowledged what their peaceful demonstrators are capable of,” comments the pro-government paper. “The Congress forgot, though, to mention the most important thing. That is, not to use force against representatives of the authority.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that HAK leader Levon Ter-Petrosian has asked the opposition parties affiliated with the alliance to come up with proposals on opposition actions that should follow the March 1 rally. The paper says the parties are currently discussing the matter. It believes that the rally should clarify what the Armenian opposition plans to do in the short term.
Levon Zurabian, a senior HAK representative, tells “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” that the opposition is determined to rally supporters on the first anniversary of the post-election clashes in Yerevan. Zurabian is confident that the authorities will not try to break up the protest.
“Hraparak” reveals “unconfirmed rumors” about personnel changes in Armenia’s security apparatus. In particular, Hovannes Manukian, the former chairman of the Court of Cassation, is rumored to have been offered the post of justice minister. The paper says that Manukian visited the presidential administration for three times in recent days. “It is also said that they want to appoint Justice Minister Gevorg Danielian as dean of the Law Department of Yerevan State University,” it says.