Sociologist Suren Zolian, who is also the rector of the Yerevan Linguistics University, tells "Hayots Ashkhar" that Armenian reaction to the recent reports of harassment against Armenians in Russia was too soft. "Counting on the good will of the Russian federal government is not right in this case. It is necessary to resort to judicial mechanisms," Zolian says, adding that a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights should be an option.
"Iravunk" writes that "during his four-year presidency, Robert Kocharian, seeking to be more cunning than anyone else and not maintaining objective responsibilities toward anyone, has consequently found himself in a situation where he does not have reliable domestic and foreign bases of support." Those who support him are mainly "apolitical" elements and "oligarchs that are indifferent to the fate of the country." But they are not reliable allies and would desert him once he gets in trouble, the paper says.
"Golos Armenii" continues to demonize the HHSh and other allies of former president Levon Ter-Petrosian, saying that they have succeeded in persuading Armenians that "they can return to power." The paper complains that many people now believe that any criticism of the current authorities offers a step forward. They do not realize that it could be two steps back towards the return of the former regime.
National Democratic Union leader Vazgen Manukian tells "Iravunk" that he is "inclined" to run for president in the 2003 elections. "I wish many [opposition] forces united. But not necessarily for the sake of changing this president. They should instead rally around some goals, programs," Manukian says.
"Hayots Ashkhar" says former foreign minister Raffi Hovannisian is returning to the political stage and wants to "actively participate in the electoral processes of 2003." The pro-Kocharian paper says Hovannisian's comeback could have a positive impact on Armenian politics. But it says Hovannisian's rhetoric has so far been too general and vague. He should come up with concrete policy recommendations, not "theoretical" views.
"Haykakan Zhamanak" observes that following the closure of the A1+ television, pro-government television stations began to give air time to opposition leaders. The paper claims that this is part of the government strategy of "not reopening A1+." The authorities are thus trying to "partly let off the opposition steam of the society."
A1+, meanwhile, marks the fifth anniversary of its popular news service with a special supplement printed in "Aravot." The channel's director, Mesrop Movsesian, chides pro-government journalists that have effectively backed A1+'s closure. "It seems to them that by being under the government tutelage they can enjoy a life without troubles," he says.