“Zhoghovurd” comments on Thursday’s fatal shooting of two Armenian soldiers on Armenia’s border with Azerbaijan’s Nakhichevan exclave. The paper points out that the incident is extraordinary because deadly ceasefire violations at that section of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border have been rare ever since the early 1990s. Skirmishes there may now become a regular occurrence, it says. The paper suggests that the latest shootings may be connected to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s decision last year to turn the Azerbaijani troops stationed in Nakhichevan into a separate army which observers believe has very close links to the Turkish military.
“Hraparak” says the death of the two soldiers highlighted the lingering risk of another Armenian-Azerbaijani war. “One thing is clear: our authorities nor are capable of solving the problem and periodical tourist visits by the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group do not contribute to that,” writes the paper. “The process of our accession to the Customs Union has increased the number of clashes and victims, rather than given us security guarantees.”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” says that instead of confronting these and other serious challenges facing Armenia, President Serzh Sarkisian and his Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) are busy plotting a constitutional reform aimed at prolonging his rule indefinitely. “Everybody [in the HHK] sees that that person [Sarkisian] causes Armenia new trouble every day and yet they are doing everything to prolong that,” writes the pro-opposition daily.
“Zhamanak” says that opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian’s harsh criticism of Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian voiced on Thursday contradicts the decision by his Armenian National Congress (HAK) and three other opposition parties not to challenge the government on the street until this autumn. “All this is bewildering to say the least and reflects Armenia’s whole political reality,” complains the paper.
“The problems facing us have not changed in the last 22 years and that probably explains why the opposition rhetoric has not changed either,” “Aravot” writes in a commentary on Ter-Petrosian’s latest statement. “The society is presented with an apocalyptic picture and [told that] only they, the oppositionists, can save the nation from this nightmare after the current regime goes.”