Razmik Zohrabian, a deputy chairman of the ruling Republican Party (HHK), assures “Aravot” that the socioeconomic situation in Armenia is not grave enough to trigger an Arab-style popular revolt. “Unlike the Arab countries where those revolutions have taken place, Armenia is not an authoritarian country,” says Zohrabian. “Do not forget that we are a member of the Council of Europe, and that structure has not only tolerated us until now but has also proposed the Eastern Partnership. So we are no Tunisia or Egypt. I’m not saying that we are a 100 percent democratic country. We are in the process of democratization.”
“Prerequisites for a social revolt in Armenia are becoming more and more pronounced in the day-to-day lives of ordinary citizens, and one doesn’t have to be involved in big politics in order to notice that,” writes “168 Zham.” “Rising food prices alone are bringing people closer to the threshold of that social revolt … The authorities are taking no concrete steps to alleviate that situation.” The paper says the administration of President Serzh Sarkisian spends most of its time and energy on domestic political intrigues and foreign policy challenges.
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” sees “in-depth processes” going on in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “Naturally, Armenia’s authorities do not find it necessary to inform the public,” says the pro-opposition daily. “Periodical triumphant statements made by them carry no concrete information. We are left to only guess what is happening in reality, what issues will be discussed [by the Armenian, Azerbaijani and Russian presidents] in Sochi on March 5.” It says the failure of those negotiations could lead to war.
Speaking to “Yerkir,” political analyst Sergei Minasian insists that renewed fighting in Karabakh is unlikely at this juncture. “True, one can never exclude it,” he says. “In August 2008, [Georgian President Mikheil] Saakashvili started a war despite having no rational grounds for that,” he says. Minasian believes that Azerbaijan’s leadership has no “rational incentive” to try to resolve the Karabakh dispute by force. “First of all, there is a military-technical balance observed in the conflict zone. And that makes a quick war, or blitzkrieg, impossible. And if you start and lose, you will end up in a situation that is worse than it was before the war,” says Minasian. “At present, Azerbaijan can not do a blitzkrieg, and that is the guarantee of the war’s non-resumption,” concludes the analyst.