“Haykakan Zhamanak” is skeptical about chances of the Russian-Armenian debt agreement signed this month. The Armenian government came up with the idea of exchanging its debt to Russia with enterprise assets in the hope of improving relations with Moscow. But talks on the deal have only led to “tensions” with Russia as well as the West. The paper says the Kremlin is unhappy with what it has been offered by Yerevan.
Meanwhile, a top aide to Robert Kocharian assures “Hayots Ashkhar” that 2001 has been “an exceptionally good year” for Armenian foreign policy. The official, Aleksan Harutiunian, points to the membership of the Council of Europe, visits to Yerevan by several heads of state and the strengthening of ties with Armenia’s main foreign partners. Harutiunian also says that despite the absence of a breakthrough in the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process the Armenian side has made significant gains by securing the so-called “Paris principles” from the Minsk Group mediators. “Throughout the entire conflict settlement process there have never principles so favorable to ourselves and the region,” he says.
“Zhamanak” carries an article by a Nagorno-Karabakh intellectual attacking those opponents of Kocharian who cite his Karabakh origin as a big disadvantage for the country. The author, Bogdan Janian, says they must be “ashamed” with that line of criticism. “If you don’t like Robert Kocharian, so it be. It’s your right. But don’t throw stones at all Artsakh Armenians,” Janian writes.
“Yerkir” sees the political situation in Armenia “heating up” following the latest bitter exchange between Kocharian and some opposition parties over constitutional reform. For the weak and divided opposition this is an opportunity to make its voice heard.
“Azg” says the parliamentary opposition stands no chance of winning the constitutional battle. Armenian parliaments have only twice prevailed in a standoff with the head of states. Still, the row over the constitution may have important repercussions for the political situation in Armenia. “Nobody can predict implications of the president-opposition clash for the country’s political stability,” the paper says.
“Aravot” is surprised that even the most populist politicians in Armenian have not reacted publicly to the 50-year takeover of Zvartnots airport by an Argentine company. And yet air transportation is no less a strategic area than telecommunications and energy. The paper believes that just because the Argentine company belongs to an ethnic Armenian does not mean that the deal signed this week is good for the country.