“The current political situation in Armenia can be characterized by one word: fuzziness,” writes “Zhamanak.” “Because of the municipal elections in Yerevan all political forces are active. On the other hand, none of them dares to present any long-term proposal to the public. Statements about ‘changing Yerevan’ and ‘starting regime change from Yerevan’ are demagogic and do not represent a long-term strategic proposal to the public.”
Vladimir Gasparian, the chief of the Armenian police, tells “Hraparak” that a dozen of his officers were injured in the April 9 scuffles with opposition protesters in Yerevan. He says one of them was hit in the head by a stone. “But I could see that they were tolerant and compassionate towards those who throw stones.” Gasparian at the same time does not exclude that some police officers used disproportionate force against supporters of opposition leader Raffi Hovannisian.
“Aravot” quotes Hovannes Manukian, the Armenian ambassador to Georgia, as saying that it is “totally understandable” that the new Georgian government is taking its time to officially decide whether to seek renewed rail communication with Russia via Abkhazia. “Armenia has explicitly stated at the highest level that it is interested in a positive solution to the issue … Armenia is certainly able to play a productive role in bringing Russia’s and Georgia’s positions on the issue closer to each other, given the balanced, skillful and proactive style of our foreign policy,” Manukian tells the paper. “However, it would be a serious diplomatic mistake if we tried to foist such assistance in any way.”
“Orakarg” says Armenian brandy producers could be hit very hard by the European Union’s insistence in the ongoing free trade talks with Armenia on the removal of the word “cognac” from their labels. The paper argues that more than 18 million liters of brandy were distilled in Armenia last year, absorbing a large part of domestically grown grapes. “And more than 90 percent of that volume was exported. The monetary value of those exports made up around $100 million, equivalent to about 8 percent of Armenia’s exports. Armenian cognac is a widely recognized brand in CIS countries. Russia accounts for 80 percent of its exports.”