(Saturday, August 30)
Interviewed by “Aravot,” Aram Karapetian, the leader of the opposition Nor Zhamanakner (New Times) party, speculates that the White House probably had a hand in the resolution by the California State Legislature calling for U.S. recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh. He says Washington is thus trying to woo Armenia. “In my view, this is a fairly positive move in terms of political developments as well,” adds Karapetian. “Azerbaijan will now look to Moscow and think of war more often. Whether that is right or wrong is a different question. The fact is that policy in the world is now dictated by the United States, and if this geopolitical player makes a move it becomes clear that the United States sends an important message to Armenia: we have not forgotten you and do not disregard you.”
“Hraparak” adds it voice to condemnations of the Armenian authorities’ decision to appoint a controversial pro-government student leader, Sevak Khachatrian, as deputy head of a state university in Yerevan. The paper says the appointment is in tune with President Serzh Sarkisian’s heavy reliance on thuggish individuals that have long been implicated in violence, including against opposition activists. It believes that Sarkisian and his political team must opt for other, “less immoral” methods of staying in power. They have until now refused to do that because of “fear and laziness,” according to “Hraparak.”
Vazgen Safarian, the head of an Armenian association of manufacturers, tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that Armenia will not find it easy to substantially increase exports of agricultural products and prepared foodstuffs to Russia following the Russian ban on food imports from Europe and the United States. Safarian says that European fruits and vegetables have been very competitive in the Russian market because of massive EU subsidies to farmers. Armenia’s agricultural sector is in a more disadvantage position, argues Safarian.