“Azg” reports that Zaruhi Postanjian, an outspoken opposition lawmaker, and a group of her supporters were stopped by Russian border guards and bitterly argued with them as they campaigned in a southeastern Armenian region bordering Iran on Wednesday. (Postanjian has condemned the border guards’ actions as illegal and demanded a criminal investigation by the Armenian authorities. The Russians deny any wrongdoing, saying that Postanjian obstructed a hunt for suspected Iranian smugglers.) “If it was a simple misunderstanding, then it can be very easily neutralized with an official apology to Armenia or an official Armenian reaction,” comments the paper. “But if it was a show of force by Russian border guards against Armenian citizens, then our authorities should draw conclusions as to whether joining the [Russian-led] customs union could make such accidents a pattern.” In any case, the paper says, the Armenian parliament should adopt a strongly-worded statement on the incident.
“Aravot” comments on Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili’s claims that Armenia was forced by Russia to join the customs union and that Moscow is disinterested in a Karabakh settlement. The paper says that while Saakashvili is widely known as a hothead when it comes to Georgian-Russian relations his remarks at a session of the UN General Assembly were “absolutely justified.” It also agrees with Saakashvili’s claim that the Kremlin is trying to undermine popular support for the European integration of its former satellite by equating that process to promotion of homosexuality. “Aravot” at the same time dismisses as too simplistic “the overall concept” of the outgoing Georgian president’s speech.
“Saakashvili’s statements seem to have left few people in Armenia indifferent,” writes “Zhamanak.” “The politically active public has been split in two parts. One part is delighted with Saakashvili’s audacity and accuracy, while the other one is surprised and angered by his admiration in Armenia, reminding people that Saakashvili has often played into Azerbaijan’s and Turkey’s hands during his presidency … A considerable part of our society is spiritually comforted, so to speak, by Saakashvili’s speech after the September 3 disgrace.” The paper says that even Saakashvili’s Armenian critics do not question the veracity of his remarks. “They are just saying that he is no good either,” it says.