“Aravot” discusses parallels drawn between the dramatic events in Ukraine and last year’s “rose revolution” in Georgia, saying that the only similarity between them is the West’s strong support for regime change in both former Soviet republics. “This apparently leads to the main mistake which Armenia’s government and opposition commit in assessing the Ukrainian events.” The paper says the Armenian authorities are wrong to believe that the outcome of the post-election turmoil in Kiev will be decided either by the West or Russia. It says the Armenian opposition, for its part, should not blame the failure of its spring offensive against Kocharian on a lack of Western support.
“It’s just that unlike the Georgians and the Ukrainians, our people have no real alternative. Perhaps we are left to choose the lesser of evils. But you don’t do a revolution for that,” concludes “Aravot.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says the ongoing “orange revolution” in Ukraine disproves the Armenian opposition leaders’ belief that weather conditions seriously affect turnout at their anti-government rallies. The paper says the opposition leaders did not launch its campaign for Kocharian’s resignation in the immediate aftermath of the Georgian revolution because of the advent of winter. But interestingly, their sole truly successful street protest took place amid a heavy snowfall on February 20, 2003, the day after the first round of the presidential election. The rally is believed to have forced the Central Election Commission to call a run-off vote.
Political expert Aleksandr Iskandarian tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that the opposition forces in Georgia and Ukraine had a clear agenda and charismatic leaders, something which the Armenian opposition lacks. “There is no such political force in Armenia,” he says.
“Iravunk” believes that “the failure of Russian policy in Ukraine” will force Moscow to reconsider its actions in other ex-Soviet states. The Ukrainian regime’s failure to enforce the reputedly fraudulent official results of last week’s presidential election showed that “bringing a pro-Russian politician to power in any country is now almost impossible unless the latter is accepted by the public.” The paper predicts “more resolute” Russian actions in the South Caucasus, saying that the Kremlin will no longer tolerate Armenia’s “complementary” foreign policy.
“Azg” reports that the prices of basic goods imported to Armenia are not falling despite the continuing strengthening of the national currency, the dram, against the U.S. dollar. The paper says this is the result of a de facto monopoly enjoyed by a small circle of wealthy businessmen close to the government and calls for government sanctions against their suspected collusion.