“Zhamanak” condemns Russia for raising the price of natural gas for Armenia, calling the move a “strategic adventure” that will “leave our country facing an extremely serious problem.” “Russia is dealing Armenia’s economic security a blow from which Armenia will not recover for a long time,” the paper claims. “In all likelihood, Russia is trying to punish Armenia’s authorities for deepening ties with Europe.”
Interviewed by “Hayots Ashkhar,” Petros Makeyan, the leader of a small opposition party called the Democratic Fatherland, accuses Levon Ter-Petrosian’s Armenian National Congress (HAK) of helping Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) to gradually topple the government “with the help of external forces.” “On the other hand, how can an oligarchic structure be an opposition in Armenia?” asks Makeyan. “Tsarukian understands that in case of becoming opposition he would go bankrupt and find himself in a much worse situation than any dispossessed or poor citizen.”
Stepan Markarian, a parliament deputy from the BHK, tells “Zhoghovurd” that Tsarukian’s party is trying to remain in a “constructive field.” “There are many issues on which we have supported and voted in favor [of the government,] and we will carry on with that line,” says Markarian. “We believe that that is the correct path.”
Hovannes Igitian, a prominent opposition figure, tells “”Aravot” that opposition leader Raffi Hovannisian deserves credit for somewhat changing the political atmosphere in Armenia as a result of the recent presidential election. “Not only in Yerevan but also small towns and villages, Raffi managed to break the people’s taboo on not criticizing the government with kind and non-aggressive statements,” explains Igitian. “In this situation, it will be easier for the opposition to work with the people.” He also believes that continued growth in the use of the Internet and online social networks will also make the opposition’s job easier.