“Hayots Ashkhar” reports that Suren Harutiunian, one of Soviet Armenia’s last Communist leaders who served as Yerevan’s ambassador to Belarus in the late 1990s and early 2000s, made a damning indictment of former President Robert Kocharian’s ten-year rule in his newly published memoirs. The paper quotes a spokesman for Kocharian, Victor Soghomonian, as rejecting the harsh criticism. “Frankly, I can’t understand reasons for that,” says Soghomonian. “Unfortunately, I must conclude that such behavior characterizes only deeply ungrateful persons. After all, it was thanks to President Kocharian’s decree that Mr. Harutiunian temporarily left the political sidelines years ago. So he should have mentioned the president’s name only with a sense of gratitude.”
“Zhamanak” strongly criticizes international mediators’ current plan to end the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and those who support its acceptance by the Armenian side. The opposition paper says that “any sensible Armenian” must reject the so-called Madrid principles. “Strangely enough, there has emerged in Armenia a group of individuals considering themselves Armenians who have set about advertising those principles,” it says. “The puppets of Serzh Sarkisian, who are clearly managed from one center, are declaring that the Madrid principles are beneficial for Armenia and the liberated territories must be returned.” The paper points the finger at the presidential Public Council, saying that it is tasked with selling the proposed principles to the domestic public.
Aram Safarian, a senior member of the pro-government Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), expresses a diametrically opposite view in an interview with “Hayk.” “For the first time in 17 years the mediators and the parties are clearly ready to accept that the people of Nagorno-Karabakh have the right to declare their sovereignty by means of a referendum,” argues Safarian.