“Zhamanak” contends that former President Levon Ter-Petrosian “did not say anything new” on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in his speech at a weekend congress of his Armenian National Congress (HAK). “Presumably his speech should not have attracted much attention,” writes the paper. “This would have been the case had it not been for the April war [in Karabakh,] which made it very clear who Armenia is dealing with.” Given these circumstances, it says, Ter-Petrosian’s revival of his 1997 rhetoric on Karabakh peace is “really extraordinary” and cannot be seen as a “manifestation of realpolitik.” The speech testified to Ter-Petrosian’s “complete loss of the sense of realism,” concludes the paper.
“168 Zham” says that Ter-Petrosian’s speech has caused a stir in the Armenian press and social media even though it was “not addressed to the public.” “Levon Ter-Petrosian has repeatedly proved that with his speeches he communicates with the authorities or a [foreign] geopolitical pole: as a rule, Russia,” writes the paper. “His speech at the HAK congress was no exception.” It claims that Ter-Petrosian essentially offered to “implement a Russian plan for the resolution of the Karabakh conflict which failed during the April war.” “And since the Armenian authorities have also expressed readiness to at least not oppose that plan, Ter-Petrosian is offering to implement the public relations part of that deal, most probably in return for some presence in the next parliament,” it says.
“In essence, Ter-Petrosian has not said anything new and simply repeated his 18-year-old assertion that without a resolution of the Karabakh problem Armenia is doomed to collapse and that it should therefore accept a compromise, phased solution to it as soon as possible,” writes “Zhoghovurd.” The paper speculates that Ter-Petrosian is “auctioning off his sole valuable asset: a conciliatory position on the Karabakh issue” for domestic political purposes.
“Aravot” disagrees with Ter-Petrosian’s belief that Armenia’s fundamental ills result only from the unresolved conflict with Azerbaijan. “But those who say that this problem must not be resolved through mutual concessions must also show where that solution lies,” editorializes the paper. Ter-Petrosian’s opponents should come up with “rational and realistic” counterarguments, instead of launching personal attacks on the ex-president, it says.
“The courage with which Armenia’s first president spoke on the Karabakh issue, while knowing in advance that he will be savaged by critics, deserves admiration,” “Hraparak” says for its part. The paper says that Ter-Petrosian could have scored more points if he had opted for “patriotic populism” instead.