(Saturday, March 15)
“Zhoghovurd” says that Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) leader Gagik Tsarukian remains careful not to openly challenge President Serzh Sarkisian despite a series of consultations held with leading opposition figures. The paper says Tsarukian’s reluctance to “cross the red line” means that the BHK’s growing cooperation with the established opposition will not translate into any meaningful action.
“Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun” believes, however, that the Armenian authorities are worried about that cooperation and are trying to undermine it through their loyal media outlets. The latter are telling Armenians that government posts and money is the only thing that could unite the BHK and the three opposition parties. The pro-opposition daily says that their ideological differences are not an insurmountable obstacle to jointly “saving” the country. Besides, it says, a common ideology is not what unites President Serzh Sarkisian and his political allies.
Aram Karapetian, an opposition politician, comments on possible repercussions of the crisis in Ukraine in an interview with “Zhamanak.” “A lot depends on what will happen in Ukraine because the situation there is quite complicated and unpredictable,” says Karapetian. He says it remains to be seen whether Russia will annex only Crimea or other Ukrainian regions as well.
“Besides, how will things be settled?” adds Karapetian. “Militarily or through sanctions? You may have noticed that the Americans have already taken economic actions. The price of oil has fallen by 2-3 percent. If they stop [the escalation] and switch to diplomatic actions I think that the situation will remain stable. But if events take a military turn then we will have to bear in mind that Georgia and Moldova will quickly join NATO and we will find ourselves in a severe social, political and economic situation because it is no secret that Armenia is heavily dependent on aid from Russia.”
“Aravot” says that Russian TV channels’ aggressive coverage of the Ukraine crisis is coordinated by the Kremlin. “The same model existed in Armenia during [Robert] Kocharian’s rule,” editorializes the paper. “Pressure on [Armenian] TV stations has eased considerably. But interestingly, forces that are not in government are now adopting the same work style. Their targets are being selected in a coordinated manner.”