“Azg” believes that Armenia’s and Azerbaijan’s inclusion in the European Union’s “new neighbors” program opens a “new possibility” for the EU’s mediation in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “The European direction, closer ties with European nations is one of the priorities of Armenian foreign policy. But the unresolved Karabakh dispute could leave Armenia with serious challenges, especially given that the EU makes proposals on the Karabakh issue that seem nice to Baku and unpleasant to Yerevan.”
“One should not expect radical changes from decisions or documents adopted by any international organization,” the deputy speaker of the Armenian parliament, Vahan Hovannisian, tells “Aravot.” And yet Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia do have such expectations, according to Hovannisian. “This is a result of Soviet mentality. We still believe that there will be a resolution which must be fulfilled at the cost of death,” the Dashnaktsutyun leader says.
Another prominent Dashnaktsutyun figure, Levon Mkrtchian, is quoted by “Hayots Ashkhar” as saying that Polish parliamentarian Jerzy Jaskiernia will submit an “objective and balanced” report on Armenia to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe next fall. He also says that President Robert Kocharian’s upcoming visit to Strasbourg will improve Armenia’s image at the PACE.
But a parliament deputy from the opposition Artarutyun bloc, Hrant Khachatrian, accuses Jaskiernia of displaying pro-government bias. “Our impression is that he is more inclined to have a warm relationship with the authorities than with the opposition,” he tells “Hayots Ashkhar.” “The fact that the authorities have frozen opposition activity with tough actions does not mean a freeze on broader public activity,” Khachatrian adds. “The opposition field may expand in the autumn.”
Suren Sureniants, another oppositionist who was recently released from prison, tells “Aravot” that the Armenian opposition should pay greater attention to “challenges dangerous for our country’s sovereignty.” “It is obvious to me that the greatest danger to Armenia’s sovereignty comes from Russia which needs a weak, discredited and illegitimate government in our country,” he says.