(Saturday, January 10)
“Aravot” says the fact that U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell would like to attend the inauguration of Georgia’s new President Mikhail Saakashvili is “an unprecedented phenomenon” for the countries of the former Soviet Union. This, the paper says, means that despite the new Georgian leadership’s recent calls for the normalization of relations with Russia Tbilisi’s is “finally and irreversibly” orientated towards the U.S. The latter highly appreciates this policy.
Turning to Armenia’s geopolitical significance, “Aravot” claims: “We are not that interesting to the world.” This is why, it says, Western broadcasting networks provided a much more detailed coverage of the post-election protests in Georgia than of those in Armenia.
“Hayots Ashkhar” editorializes in this regard that Armenian foreign policy will continue to be based on a close alliance with Russia. The paper says Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliev’s visit to Moscow planned for next month will not herald any change in Russian policy on the South Caucasus and Armenia in particular. “The allied Russian-Armenian relations have now reached a point where the next, higher stage of their development may only require the creation of a common state. In a nutshell, there is nothing to worry about this situation.”
Writing in “Aravot,” commentator and former newspaper editor Aydin Morikian accuses the Armenian authorities of “destroying” the country and themselves. He asserts that the ongoing rise in utility prices is “breaking the people’s physical and moral ability to resist.” He claims that the most active and creative segment of the population that is opposed to the ruling regime continues to leave Armenia. Those who stay on are too poor to fight for their rights or engage in any form of political activism, he says.