Asked by “Zhamanak” to comment on Russian-Armenian relations, members of the Armenian parliament express differing opinions. The Republican chairman of the parliament committee on legal affairs, Victor Dallakian, says the government is “too naïve” in hoping to balance between Russia and the US and must make a final choice in Moscow’s favor. But according to Tigran Torosian, the deputy speaker and also a member of the governing Republican Party, Yerevan does not need to make any “corrections” in its foreign policy. “Our attitude to Russia has always been very explicit and does not have to be changed,” he says.
The government’s “complementary foreign policy” is once again praised by the outgoing US ambassador to Armenia, Michael Lemmon. In a farewell interview with “Yerkir,” Lemmon says that at no point in his three-year diplomatic work in Yerevan did he feel that Armenia faces a dilemma of choosing between Russia and the US. Lemmon also claims that the two world powers do not have a “clash of interests” in the south Caucasus.
“Azg” reports that officials at the Armenian civil aviation authority and Zvartnots Airport are quite “self-confident” about their ability to prevent terrorism hijackings. They say safety procedures at the country’s main international airport have been tightened since Tuesday’s attacks on New York and Washington. This includes passenger and luggage control. Passengers are not allow to carry any “cutting or blunt objects” that could even remotely threaten others’ lives.
“Hayots Ashkhar” reports that police found an arms cache early on Thursday at an estate belonging to a former parliament deputy and Soviet-era dissident Azat Arshakian. And although an interior ministry spokesman refuted the information, the paper insists, citing “reliable sources,” that police made several arrests and were conducting interrogations throughout the day.
“Hayots Ashkhar” also dismisses the outcry made by the HZhK over Lord Russell-Johnston’s remark that its late founder, Karen Demirchian, supported the idea of exchanging occupied Azerbaijani lands for independence for Karabakh. The paper says Russell-Johnston hardly lied to the deputies in his speech. Demirchian did not embrace the movement for Karabakh’s reunification with Armenia in 1988 (when he was the Communist Party First Secretary) and was not a hardliner on the issue.
Interviewed by “Golos Armenii,” Dashnaktsutyun leader Vahan Hovannisian criticizes Robert Kocharian for not being “resolute enough to get rid of representatives of the former regime” stilling holding senior posts in his administration. “Dashnaktsutyun is also concerned that the president is tolerant of manifestations of corruption and shadow business,” he says.