“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” says that Armenia’s and Azerbaijan’s governments have spent the last 15 years strengthening their grip on power, dividing and weakening their political opponents, and making huge personal fortunes. “Opportunities have certainly been different,” says the paper. “Azerbaijan has oil, while Armenia does not. But the principles have been the same. The Aliyevs’ clan [in Azerbaijan] has earned $50-60 billion from oil alone and spent 10 percent of that money on modern weapons delivered to the Azerbaijani army … The Armenian army has received about $1 billion worth of weapons in the last 15 years.”
The pro-opposition paper claims that the army could have been supplied with many more weapons had President Serzh Sarkisian and his predecessor Robert Kocharian not enriched themselves while in office.
“168 Zham” quotes a deputy chairman of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), Armen Ashotian, as saying that Armenia joined the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), rather than NATO, because the Western alliance was never ready to admit it as a member. The paper says that this cannot be used as an excuse for the Armenian authorities to anchor their country to Russia so tightly. “In the last several years, Armenia has done everything to ensure that nobody expects is any other, more serious structure,” it claims. “Armenia is now sending the world a message to the effect that it made a mistake in its geopolitical choice. The four-day war [in Karabakh] necessitates drastic changes and unconventional solutions.”
According to “Zhamanak,” the war demonstrated that internal political processes and practices in Armenia “absolutely do not correspond to challenges and threats facing the state.” “There is still no certainty as to in which direction the domestic processes could go,” writes the paper. “The most important question now is which new motivations will emerge in the domestic political arena.”