“Hayots Ashkhar” asks a spokesman for Karabakh President Bako Sahakian to comment Azerbaijan’s reported plans to build a protective wall along the Armenian-Azerbaijani “line of contact,” ostensibly to protect Azerbaijani civilians living near the frontline. “By building that wall, the Azerbaijanis are trying to wage a smear campaign against the Armenian side, to show the world that the Armenians are barbarians and that they have to build a wall to ensure the security of the civilian population and protect border villages against Armenian sniper fire,” says the official, Davit Babayan.
On the other hand, says Babayan, Azerbaijan is in effect marking its border with Karabakh. “In that sense, this initiative can be deemed positive,” he says. “After all, every country is free to demarcate its borders.”
Interviewed by “Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun,” Aram Sarkisian, the leader of the opposition Hanrapetutyun (Republic) party, links violent crime in the Armenian armed forces with chronic vote rigging. “The more they rigged elections, the more tense the situation within the army became and the more injustice increased,” he says. “The biggest injustice is to become president without getting elected, to become prime minister or deputy by force. This is the main cause.”
Andranik Kocharian, who served as deputy defense minister in 1992-1995, tells “Haykakan Zhamanak” that President Serzh Sarkisian and Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian have still not done anything to prevent non-combat deaths of soldiers. “At the end of the day, all this is also the result of corruption and the fact that the army has for years been drawn into political processes.” Kocharian also rejects military officials’ statements saying that the culture of violence in the army mirrors existing social mores.
Speaking to “Iravunk,” Hamlet Harutiunian, a parliament deputy from President Sarkisian’s Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), says former President Robert Kocharian’s latest statements on his possible return to active politics are “his personal business.” “Nobody has the right to violate a person’s constitutional rights,” says Harutiunian. “That is his political decision and only he can give detailed answers to those questions. If Levon Ter-Petrosian managed to return to the political arena after ten years of silence, then the second president has the full moral right to come back.” The Karabakh-born parliamentarian also claims that Kocharian is now “in a more beneficial position” than Ter-Petrosian.