“Haykakan Zhamanak” comments on Azerbaijani claims that Armenia was given late last year two weeks to respond to the international mediators’ modified peace proposals on Nagorno-Karabakh. “Turkish and Azerbaijani media have become the main source of information about Armenia and Karabakh for Armenians,” writes the paper. “And, what is more terrible, reports by that source are eventually confirmed in one way or another. It is evident right now that something is going on in the Karabakh conflict resolution. Armenian sources are silent on these topics, however, whereas Turkish and Azerbaijani sources are flowing abundantly.” The paper says this silence means that the Armenian authorities “have nothing to say” on Karabakh.
Interviewed by “Aravot,” Barsegh Beglarian, a wealthy businessman close to the government, dismisses as “gossips” speculation about a rift between President Serzh Sarkisian and his predecessor Robert Kocharian. Beglarian repeats his earlier remark that Kocharian’s retirement would be “quite a luxury” for Armenia. “But it is not true that Kocharian wants to return [to politics] and Sarkisian won’t allow that,” says the Karabakh-born fuel magnate. “According to my information and my belief, that is. Maybe my information is not complete.” Beglarian then points to Sarkisian’s recent remark that the ex-president never retired from politics.
Beglarian also says that he wants to help create “a new atmosphere, a new generation in Armenia that would think in a new fashion.” “I may be very harsh, but elections are ruining our country,” he says. “The nation is split once in every five years. The reason for that is the Anglo-Saxon or Semite mentality, when they impose such elections in order to break up small and poor countries.” Asked whether he believes democracy is bad for Armenia, Beglarian replies: “I am not proposing a better form of democracy. We must simply get wiser, more prudent and very serious as a nation.”
“Armenia’s number one problem is not the Karabakh conflict, Turkish-Armenian relations or the severe socioeconomic situation,” writes “Hayk.” “Vote falsifications is not our number one problem either. The main problem facing Armenia and its citizens is demoralization.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” continues to highlight the “deplorable situation” which it says is reigning in the area of education and science in Armenia. The paper says international organizations warn that Armenia risks lagging behind neighboring Azerbaijan and Georgia in terms of education standards.