“Haykakan Zhamanak” criticizes the National Olympic Committee of Armenia (NOCA) for its failing to officially raise objections to what it describes as “gross errors” of the referees that left Armenian Greco-Roman wrestler Mihran Harutiunian without a gold medal in a 66-kilogram final. “According to its official report, the NOCA thinks that the Armenian wrestler ‘lost in a tough and spectacular fight that ended 1-1’ and that since Harutiunian’s Serbian opponent scored the point last, the referees awarded the victory to him. It turns out that the NOCA did not notice that Harutiunian lost in the fight because of a clear bias shown by the officials and all that happened before the eyes of [Armenian President] Serzh Sarkisian and NOCA head Gagik Tsarukian,” the paper writes.
“Zhoghovurd” suggests that the recent political crisis unfolding against the backdrop of the seizure by an armed group loyal to a fringe opposition movement of a police station in Yerevan during the last two weeks of July has revealed the absence of true political parties in Armenia: “In the extraordinary situation that was created in the country from July 17 to July 31 when there was more than ever a need for a political word, a political thought and direction, almost all of our political forces vanished, and the few ones whose leaders did attempt to get a role in Khorentsi Street (the main venue of the standoff) were publicly reproached and denounced. All other political forces either kept low profile throughout the crisis or made some public comments only after [President Serzh] Sarkisian’s July 22 statements... So, the Armenian public once again made sure that there are no political parties in Armenia, but there are only groups of people directed from one center or another who, at decisive moments, lie low until the danger is over.”
Gagik Minasian, a lawmaker and senior member of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia, tells “Aravot” that as a citizen of Armenia he does consider the recent thaw in Russo-Turkish relations as a risk to the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “But, on the other hand, history allows me to state that the Armenian side cannot agree to any concessions in this matter, because this is a top priority issue for us. We can make other issues a matter of negotiations if the top issue, the [independent] status of Nagorno-Karabakh, is agreed between the Armenian and Azerbaijani sides. But such agreement is nowhere in the offing yet,” says the lawmaker.