(Saturday, July 23)
“Zhamanak” scoffs at Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian’s revelation that the Armenian authorities have urged the Russian government to stop encouraging Armenians to migrate to Russia. The paper says Yerevan should have simply banned the Russian migration program in Armenia and done so long ago. It speculates that the Russians “will demand something” in return for agreeing to stop implementing the scheme in Armenia.
Interviewed by “Hayots Ashkhar,” Razmik Zohrabian, a deputy chairman of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), dismisses concerns that the government’s dialogue with the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) is proceeding to the detriment of other political forces. “We are ready to enage in the same dialogue with any other opposition forces making similar demands,” he says. “It is evident, for example, that Dashnaktsutyun has no concerns mentioned by you.”
“The authorities are saying that they rule out the condut of pre-term elections, whereas the Congress insists that it considers pre-term elections the only issue on the agenda of the dialogue,” writes “Yerkir.” “It looks as though one of the parties is lying. Either the [ruling] coalition is authorized to negotiate over pre-term elections but doesn’t want to publicly admit that for fear of exposing the government’s weakness and opening cracks in the government camp, or the Congress has agreed to discuss the issue of replacing pre-term elections by alternative solutions but doesn’t dare to publicly admit that.”
Lragir.am says that former President Robert Kocharian and has been and will remain a “factor” in the ongoing political developments in Armenia because of the unanswered questions about the March 2008 unrest in Yerevan. “It is obvious that Robert Kocharian cannot calmly watch the dialogue with such a propsect in mind,” writes the online journal. “There is no doubt that the question of Robert Kocharian’s security will be high on the agenda of the dialogue between Serzh Sarkisian and Levon Ter-Petrosian,” it claims. “Assuming, of course, that the dialogue centers on regime change, as is claimed by the Congress. There is also no doubt that in case of getting no [security] guarantees Robert Kocharian will take active steps to ensure his own security. Or he could leave the country before the end of the dialogue.”