“Aravot” says Western officials and observers visiting Armenia do not care much about promoting democracy there and brings the example of the Council of Europe rapporteurs on Armenia, John Prescott and Georges Colombier, to substantiate this claim. “The West and these gentlemen in particularly are absolutely not interested in the existing situation in Armenia,” editorializes the paper. “They are absolutely not interested in our country’s development and have formed their attitude and fuzzy wordings long ago.”
“Aravot” accuses them of turning a blind eye to “crimes” committed by the Armenian authorities in line with Western governments’ view that Armenians are inherently incapable of building a “normal state.” “Maybe we deserve such treatment,” its concludes.
“168 Zham” comments on U.S. intelligence chief Dennis Blair’s warning that the likelihood of an armed conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan has increased because of the Turkish-Armenian rapprochement. “The West is scaring the authorities with the threat of renewed war, while the authorities are scaring off the public,” says the paper. “In all likelihood, they calculated that the public will prefer the surrender of liberated territories to the possibility of the war’s resumption, thereby not opposing the possible signing of a Karabakh peace accord.”
In a second part of his interview with “Hayots Ashkhar,” deputy parliament speaker Samvel Nikoyan berates those who expose Armenia’s “dirty linen” abroad. Nikoyan says that Turkish and Azerbaijani parliamentarians avoid raising their countries’ internal problems at the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE). “The same can be said of Georgia, Russia and other post-Soviet countries,” he says.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” attacks government plans to introduce new taxes. The paper is particularly critical of a proposed tax on agricultural land not cultivated by farmers, questioning the sanity of its authors. “How come milk produced in the U.S. costs less in [Armenian] supermarkets than Armenian villagers’ milk sold in our neighborhoods?” asks the paper. “Despite selling a cheaper milk, the U.S. farmer earns a lot more revenue than the Armenian villager. How come tomatoes, cucumbers, pepper, onions, beans and garlic imported from Turkey and Iran cost less in Armenia even after their importers pay taxes and transportation costs? Instead of clarifying these miracles, our insane officials work on preparing such legislative packages.”