“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” looks at the “strange” reaction of Armenian government officials and Robert Kocharian’s office to opposition leader David Shahnazarian’s claims that the former Armenian president is a criminal that should be put on an international trial. “They don’t say that Robert Kocharian did not say such things,” says the pro-opposition daily. “They don’t say all that is slander. Instead, pro-government media outlets marvel at the fact that Armenia is not a party to the Rome treaty and is therefore beyond the jurisdiction of the international court in the Hague.”
“Golos Armenii” finds Shahnazarian’s parallels between Kocharian and Serbian ultranationalists “boring.” The pro-Kocharian paper recalls that Shahnazarian compared the ex-president with Saddam Hussein in 2003.
“Zhamanak” carries an interview with Gerard Libaridian, a Michigan University professor who was President Levon Ter-Petrosian’s top foreign policy aide in the early and mid-1990s. Libaridian says that Turkey has scored more diplomatic points than Armenia in the two-year rapprochement between the two countries. He argues that Turkey has secured an Armenian pledge to explicitly recognize the existing Turkish-Armenian border and agree to the formation of a joint panel of history experts. “Armenia scored one goal: the Nagorno-Karabakh linkage was not mentioned in the protocols,” he says. “This can be considered a success.” In Libaridian’s words, another benefit of the protocols is that they commit Turkey to recognize Armenia’s territorial integrity and thereby reduce perceived threats to its security.
Lragir.am says traders at a jewelry market in Yerevan are wrong to stage protests only outside the Armenian prime minister’s office and only against new tax rules set by his government. “It would be naïve to think that they have reason to protest only against the prime minister,” writes the online publication. “For example, it is hard to imagine those market traders fighting against any rigged election in an equally organized fashion. And yet rigged elections are the root cause of all problems, aren’t they? … It’s good that workers of the gold market can close ranks and fight for their rights. But that does not solve fundamental problems facing citizens.”
“Hraparak” reports that President Serzh Sarkisian’s businessman brother Aleksandr on Monday again denied rumors that he is behind the ongoing large-scale exports of sheep from Armenia to Iran. “I have never transported a single sheep in my life,” he said. “I have never seen a single shepherd.”