President Serzh Sarkisian’s address to the nation on the future of the Turkish-Armenian normalization process is the central theme of Friday’s Armenian press commentary.
“Hayots Ashkhar” says that by freezing the parliamentary ratification of the Turkish-Armenian protocols and at the same time not invalidating them yet Yerevan retained its “much more flexible position” and expanded “the domain of foreign policy maneuvers.” “Armenia is in a win-win situation in any case,” says the pro-presidential paper. “It continues to act with clear approaches understandable to the international community. The qualitatively new situation can have a catalytic influence on the process of broadening international recognition of the Armenian genocide.”
“An aimless address about nothing,” reads a headline in “Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun.” “The thing is that there was no need for a decree [on freezing the ratification process] or, the more so, an address by Serzh Sarkisian,” says the pro-opposition daily. “The procedure of ratifying the protocols had already been suspended in one way or another. It’s not that deputies of the National Assembly were about to press ‘for’ vote buttons and Serzh Sarkisian stopped the vote at the last minute.” The paper argues that the Armenian parliament did not need a presidential decree to continue to delay a vote on protocol ratification.
“One thing is clear,” editorializes “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “The process which Serzh Sarkisian was using to boost his standing has failed and he is now trying to take face-saving steps.”
“Aravot” says Armenian ratification of the protocols and their formal annulment would be “equally acceptable” moves. “In both cases, we would have gotten rid of uncertainty, at least temporarily,” editorializes the paper. “To tell the truth, the middle ground chosen by President Serzh Sarkisian is not to our liking.” It says the move is “creating illusions that some developments on the protocol issue are still possible.”
“Hraparak” says the normalization process has ended in failure. “And yet this process could have given a powerful boost to our state and economy,” the paper says in an editorial. “It could have been a chance to gain a new impetus and a carte blanche which Serzh Sarkisian sought and which would have let him go down in history as the president who took decisive decisions on the normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations.”
“Zhamanak” says the rapprochement between the two neighboring nations has “burned out.”
Lragir.am says that it is still premature to say that the Armenian government has acknowledged the fallacy of its policy on Turkey. “After all, Armenia has somewhat stepped aside from the process, rather than pulled out of it,” it writes. The normalization process should therefore not be considered “dead” as yet, according to the online publication.