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Press Review


(Saturday, August 22)

“168 Zham” interviews David Shahnazarian, a senior representative of the main opposition Armenian National Congress, who says that after his recent meetings with political circles in Turkey he has an impression that “they have got what they have been after.”

“The Roadmap, a government-level Armenian-Turkish commission of historians,” enumerates Shahnazarian, adding: “And now they have shelved these agreements and are waiting for the fulfillment of their new preconditions – Armenia’s serious concessions in the Nagorno-Karabakh issue – only after which will Turkey return to this agreed Roadmap. Armenia’s authorities must declassify these documents. I think that by setting a deadline for himself for the [Turkey v Armenia] soccer match day, [Armenian President] Serzh Sarkisian committed another blunder in the Armenian-Turkish relations. He should have also set another deadline to indicate that if the fulfillment of these commitments fails to start by Day X, then the whole package must be considered invalid.”

“Aravot” says in its editorial that “police officers who attack peaceful demonstrators and journalists and inflict bodily harm on them must be punished with all the strictness of the law.”

“And who are supposed to investigate these cases and punish them? It is investigation bodies and courts. And it is here that the normal course meets insurmountable obstacles – policemen, investigation bodies and courts are parts of the same system and, consequently, these circles, instead of controlling and restraining one another, on the contrary, do everything for [those committing] violence to go unpunished.”

“Hraparak” comments tartly on Police Chief Alik Sarkisian’s words that “perhaps there is a share of our responsibility that police have lost public confidence” and that’s why members of the public are reluctant to help law-enforcers in combating crime.

“It is good that finally there is an understanding of this. But why so late?” the paper writes. “Why should the public have more trust? For years police have been identified with the underworld, they have turned a blind eye on crimes; prosecutors and investigators have fabricated cases to catch the innocent and free the guilty and courts have executed orders and passed illegal verdicts.”

“Hayots Ashkhar” follows up on the allegations made by the pro-opposition “Haykakan Zhamanak” daily according to which Armenian state agencies are being forced to buy Toyotas to ensure the ‘prosperity’ of Armenia’s second president Robert Kocharian’s elder son, Sedrak, who is involved in Toyota business in Armenia.

The director of the former president’s office Victor Soghomonian tells “Hayots Ashkhar” in this regard: “We have never denied Sedrak Kocharian’s relation to the Armenia representation of the Toyota company. Indeed, Sedrak is a stakeholder in Toyota-Yerevan Ltd, though he is not involved in company management. As for these allegations, it is another lie of “Haykakan Zhamanak” against the Kocharian family. Naturally, there has never been such a thing.”

Under the subhead “ArmRusgazprom is Our Home”, the Russian-language daily “Golos Armenii” publishes an interview with ArmRusgazprom director Karen Karapetian.

“Every country promotes its own brand names. ‘Mobile’ for the United States, ‘Shell’ for the Dutch. ArmRusgazprom can become such a brand name for Armenia. When we started, only 21 percent [of the country] had been supplied with natural gas. Now we have increased this level to 92 percent. By the way, in the course of time not only residential houses and industrial enterprises, but also a majority of vehicles have switched to natural gas use,” says Karapetian.
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