In an interview with “168 Zham,” Konstantin Zatulin, a senior member of the Russian State Duma, says that the authorities in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh will never agree to make continued Armenian control over Karabakh negotiable. “That can happen only as a result of hostilities, in case of Armenia’s capitulation,” says Zatulin. “I am talking about Yerevan’s, not Stepanakert’s capitulation.” He says the Armenians can only withdraw from territories surrounding Karabakh. But, he adds, they would be wrong to return one or two of those Azerbaijani districts without making a comprehensive peace deal with Azerbaijan.
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” claims that Armenia “has finally become a criminal country.” “Few people are willing to discuss that topic in detail because, first of all, that is dangerous and, secondly, the picture exposed by an in-depth look would be very terrible,” says the opposition daily. “There is not a single sphere where the criminal underworld is not represented at the highest level. The outside world is well aware that the society has lost and the underworld has won in Armenia, but at the end of the day, that is not their problem. They can easily deal even with criminals. That is our society’s problem and a solution to that problem is not in sight at the moment.”
Interviewed by “Hayots Ashkhar,” Gagik Yeganian, the head of the State Migration Service, dismisses opposition media claims about a new wave of out-migration from Armenia. “Our agency has no data on out-migration reaching extraordinary levels, even though we keep track of passenger flows by land and air,” he says. Yeganian argues that people change their places of residence all over the world and that is not necessarily emigration. “What is unfortunate is that by presenting worsening out-migration rates, some forces are trying to politicize the issue,” complains the official. “It’s a touchy subject, you can always exploit it and create tension within the society.”
Hakob Hakobian, a controversial businessman and former parliamentarian, tells “Hraparak” that he will run for parliament in his Echmiadzin constituency in the 2012 elections and is not scared of his likely rivals, including former Deputy Defense Minister Manvel Grigorian and members of his extended family. “I don’t care at all who my political opponent will be,” he says. “But I will only welcome it if there are so many of them that the people can choose one of them.” Hakobian, who is better known for his nickname “Choyt,” also says legislative work is “very dear to my heart.”