“Zhamanak” comments on Armenia’s position in the vote on Crimea that was scheduled to take place at the UN General Assembly in New York on Thursday: “By abstaining Armenia is going to do the minimum and, perhaps, the optimal it can in such a situation. Without going against Russia, but at the same time not appearing as Russia’s advocate it will avoid the fate of standing in the same row as North Korea. This attitude can be praised, but it is also clear that it is only small consolation.”
In an interview with “Aravot”, Lilia Shevtsova, of the Washington-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, says that if the Armenian and Russian presidents in their telephone conversation came to the conclusion that the referendum in Crimea “constitutes another case of exercise of peoples’ right to self-determination via free expression of will”, then it is the same as stating that they do not accept international norms. “As to the two presidents ‘commitment’ to the norms and principles of the international law, it is praiseworthy, but one of them has already violated the UN Charter. I find it hard to say whether the Armenian government could show a different approach in a situation in which it is,” the expert says.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” analyzes the latest internal political developments in Armenia, concluding that ex-president Robert Kocharian has been involved in them. “Late last year Kocharian joined in criticizing the government. Then lawmakers representing the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) began to defend Kocharian. Then the March 1 rally of the Armenian National Congress took place. And no one of the speakers at that rally mentioned the name of Kocharian. And that could happen only in one case – if the speakers had been told not to mention his name.”
Talking to “Hayots Ashkhar”, secretary of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia’s parliamentary faction Hovannes Sahakian stops short of describing the BHK as opposition: “They declare themselves to be an alternative force, and if today there is a new term in circulation, non-governing forces, where the BHK, as an “alternative”, also fits, then it is their problem. As to whether the BHK is our main target, well, if at this moment the most vocal and rudest criticism comes from BHK representatives, it is only natural that we should be responding to their statements. But the BHK is not alone in this sense.”