(Saturday, March 8)
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says that Russia may succeed in annexing Crimea and other Ukrainian regions but it will definitely fail to “wrest Ukraine from Europe.” “And this means that events are now reaching a point where Ukraine will regard Russia as an enemy,” writes the paper. “This cannot fail to have consequences … The Customs Union will not look like it was devised by the president of the Russian Federation, if it exists at all. Not to mention the Eurasian Union.”
“Zhamanak” looks at the future of growing cooperation between Levon Ter-Petrosian’s Armenian National Congress (HAK) and Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK). The paper wonders if Ter-Petrosian and Tsarukian will meet in the coming days or weeks, saying that such an encounter would be “intriguing.” “If it happens, what past episodes will Ter-Petrosian and Tsarukian recall?” it says. The paper reminds in that regard that the HAK has previously accused Tsarukian of involvement in the March 2008 deadly crackdown on Ter-Petrosian’s opposition movement. But it says that this fact is not an insurmountable obstacle to Ter-Petrosian seeing as he had no problem meeting with leaders of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) in 2007, more than a decade after accusing the party of terrorism and banning it.
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” hits out at representatives of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) who say that various anti-government protests staged of late reflect ordinary people’s inability to understand the importance of economic reforms implemented by the authorities. “Attributing any social protest to immaturity is certainly the easiest thing,” comments the paper. “Of course, the residents of six villages [in Aragatsotn province] are too immature to realize that the most important thing is not their apple groves but businesses belonging to [President Serzh Sarkisian’s brother] Sashik. The 270,000 young people [covered by pension reform] do not understand that banks need cheap money to earn profits … People are stupid and do not understand that natural gas becomes twice as expensive by the time it reaches their homes from the [Georgian-Armenian] border for the sake of the country’s bright future. If they don’t understand, they must be made to understand. What’s the point of having security bodies?”
“The authorities do not trust and respect their people,” writes “Hraparak.” “They believe that the people do not understand anything and are dishonest, unjust, lazy and keen to live off handouts.” The paper says the authorities take a similarly dim view of their political opponents and various grassroots movements.