“Aravot” claims that the OSCE summit in Astana marked no breakthrough in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process because the West has recognized the conflict zone as a sphere of exclusive Russian influence. “Even in this situation, we can achieve peace with the Azerbaijanis,” writes the paper. “However, the neighboring country’s position is extremely tough. They want to get lands and give back nothing in return.” The paper says “the crisis of the OSCE” is another factor that prevented a peace agreement at Astana.
“Hayots Ashkhar” that the signing of such an agreement was “the last hope” of the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) and its leader, Levon Ter-Petrosian. “November was a particularly tough month for our radicals,” says the paper. “There was no lack of events, scandalous news or shocking reports, and they had to play up each of them so much … that it would be possible to get the indifferent public out on the street. They failed to do that this fall as well, and there is one reason for that. Both today and in the past three years Ter-Petrosian and his comrades-in-arms have relied only on external forces in trying to achieve victory.”
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” sees an apparent “psychological shift” in public attitudes towards political prisoners, notably Nikol Pashinian. The paper notes that “even a number of palace intellectuals, heads of professional unions and scientists” have signed statements calling for Pashinian’s release. “Maybe they were scared of public rebukes,” it says. “Or maybe their conscience woke up. In any case, what they did is unprecedented.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” comments on reports that Armenian officials pressured a European Parliament commission to water down a statement on Armenia adopted on Thursday. “Members of the Armenian delegation fought hard in the European Parliament,” the opposition paper comments with sarcasm. “Just like, Davit Harutiunian, the head of the Armenian delegation at the PACE, has done in the past.” The paper also reports that two more “political prisoners” are expected to be released in the coming days.
“The economic situation in Armenia is not quite rosy,” Vartan Bostanjian, a parliament deputy from the pro-government Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), is quoted by “Hraparak” as saying. Bostanjian points to higher-than-usual inflation and says the authorities are not doing enough to break up “monopolies.” He is also unhappy with their monetary policies, saying that the exchange rate of the Armenian dram is also formed by “subjective factors.” “In particular, it’s not good that 92 percent of the financial market is regulated from one place: the Central Bank,” says Bostanjian.