“Hraparak” says that pessimistic forecasts about the implementation of the Turkish-Armenian agreements seem to be borne out. The paper says the price of not ratifying the agreements is not heavy enough for Turkey to undermine its “brotherhood” with Azerbaijan. “Is the attitude of the civilized world more important the fury of a brother? After all, they have assured Azerbaijan on various occasions that [Azerbaijani] interests are sacred to them and the restoration of its trampled rights is their duty,” argues the paper.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” quotes a senior Russian diplomat as saying that Russia is ready to single-handedly act as the guarantor of an Armenian-Azerbaijani peace accord. “What agreements are they talking about and to whom the Russian diplomat’s assurances are addressed ?” asks the paper. “By guarantees Russia obviously means its peacekeepers. And they will be need only if Armenian troops are withdrawn from the liberated territories.”
Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian assures “Golos Armenii” that the Armenian government will not reduce the military’s “current expenditures” despite a cut in its overall defense budget planned for next year. Ohanian says the spending cut will only affect housing and other construction projects implemented by the Defense Ministry. “We have always countered the enemy’s numerical superiority with the spirit of our military and the degree of our preparedness,” he says, commenting on the continuing rise in Azerbaijan’s defense spending.
“The existing process of normalizing Turkish-Armenian relations has considerably muddied the internal political clarity that existed until then,” editorializes “Zhamanak.” “The authorities deliberately went for [the normalization] and the opposition started playing with those rules of the game. Maybe that was inevitable. Maybe that was the only right step. But the fact is that the opposition thereby started becoming incomprehensible among the people. What is more, the opposition started becoming more incomprehensible than the authorities.” The paper claims many Armenians can not understand why opposition leaders are now paying so much attention to “geopolitical issues.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” claims that opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian “has finally decided to leave active politics.” “That fact explains his unusual passivity during the summer and autumn seasons,” writes the pro-presidential daily. “Ter-Petrosian wants to not just quit but leave behind a successor. He has been busy looking for the latter in the last few months.”