Gegham Baghdasarian, an independent Nagorno-Karabakh parliamentarian, tells “Aravot” that Armenia’s recent calls for Stepanakert’s direct involvement in Armenian-Azerbaijani negotiations do not reflect a covert desire to reject international mediators’ existing peace proposals. “The Armenian authorities have completely nullified the Karabakh factor in the last ten years,” says Baghdasarian. He says Karabakh’s leadership has contributed to that by suppressing dissent and pluralism. “Having said that, I am inclined to believe that it is still not too late to change the situation,” says Baghdasarian.
In an interview with “Zhamanak,” opposition leader Aram Sarkisian indicates his overall support for the so-called Madrid principles of the Karabakh settlement. But Sarkisian cautions that he and the public at large should reserve final judgment on the document until they are aware of its key details. “In such a document, every word, letter and comma is important, and only after reading that will it be possible to say whether or not [the document] satisfies us,” explains the leader of the Hanrapetutyun (Republic) party.
“Having spilled over into Armenia, the global economic crisis has once again showed that this small, beautiful and misruled country is very far from the economic model, that is accepted around the world and functions effectively in many countries, and therefore democracy,” writes “Iravunk de facto.” “For democracy is measured not only by the extent of human rights protection, media freedom, the existence or absence of political prisoners in a particular country. A developed democratic polity is a system of mechanisms where the government is formed primarily on the basis of the economic situation in the country. This principle does not function in Armenia and, to be fair, the entire post-Soviet space.” That is why, says the paper, economically inept governments in ex-Soviet states can last for many years.
“Hraparak” carries an editorial on a growing influx of foreign visitors to Armenia. “It’s good that foreigners visit Armenia,” says the paper. “After all, that translates into funds entering the [state] budget, a [new] culture imported to the country and human contacts. But is our country prepared to receive tourists and foreigners? Is the quality and level of various services provided here good enough?” The paper is not sure it is, lamenting the continuing high cost of accommodation and a lack of tourism infrastructure.