“Aravot” is struck by what it sees as wild speculation surrounding Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s upcoming visit to Armenia that will be followed by an informal summit of the Collective Security Treaty Organization. “As always, there are two extreme positions here,” editorializes the paper. “According to one of them, Russia has long betrayed us, sold us out in exchange for Azerbaijani oil and gas. The other one is that as soon as changes to the treaty on the [Russian military] bases are signed, the Karabakh problem will be solved and that if Azerbaijan attacks the NKR, the Russians will step in and defend us.”
“The truth is certainly right in the middle [of these two extremes.] As a rule, big powers want to simultaneously keep all conflicting parties under their influence, with all resulting consequences. This is a typical imperial divide-and-rule formula,” concludes “Aravot.”
Vartan Bostanjian, a parliament deputy from the pro-government Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), assures “Hayastani Hanrapetutyun” that Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s latest threats of military action are aimed at “retaining power.” “That is his supreme objective,” says Bostanjian. “The fact remains that the Azerbaijani army was already defeated once, and if they want to go to war again they must know that they will again lose.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” claims that regime change in Armenia is needed not by the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) but “the whole country.” “Some circles in Armenia are trying to instill in people the notion that regime change is necessary only for Armenia’s first President Levon Ter-Petrosian or other leaders of the Armenian National Congress, who are allegedly seeking government posts,” editorializes the pro-HAK daily. It argues that both Ter-Petrosian and key members of his entourage willingly resigned their posts in 1998. The paper insists that what they want is radical changes that would positively transform Armenia.
In an interview with “Hraparak,” Former Finance Minister Levon Barkhudarian discusses “positive trends” in the Armenian economy registered in the first half of this year. Barkhudarian points out that a more than 12 percent rise in industrial output, the driving force behind first-half growth, was achieved mainly because of rising international prices of base metals. “This demonstrates the dependence of our economy on international [commodity] prices,” he says, adding that an increase in cash remittances from abroad also contributed to the recovery. “The economy must be further diversified,” adds Barkhudarian. “We must pay a lot of attention to the processing of agricultural products.”