“Aravot” reports that the Armenian parliament will discuss the so-called package and phased strategies of resolving the Karabakh conflict during hearings due later this month. The paper considers this another indication of the Armenian authorities’ readiness to embrace a step-by-step deal rejected by Robert Kocharian as defeatist in 1998. “It turns out now, seven years on, that this issue is still on the agenda. One can discuss it without being labeled a national traitor or a Turk.” The paper says this only proves that the Karabakh dispute can not be solved without major concessions by both parties. Concessions which it believes the current governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan are not ready to make.
Opposition leader Aram Sarkisian tells “Aravot” that he has started learning English so that he can “read the original version of Shakespeare’s Hamlet and understand whether the ghost of Hamlet’s father is demanding that his son take revenge or establish justice in the country.” The Armenian opposition, according to Sarkisian, is now “much more active” and is making “much deeper calculations.” “Russia says, ‘Like it or not, [Armenia will be governed by] Robert Kocharian and whoever he chooses after his resignation’. What are Europe and the West saying? They say, ‘We are ready to help you, to finance your economic development. In exchange for that, you must embrace our value system and form government on a democratic basis’.” Sarkisian adds that he is surprised to see Armenians still oriented toward Russia.
“This opposition-government game seems endless,” complains “Azg.” “Mindful of that, the ‘prudent section’ of our bored society continues to leave the country … But the masquerade must end. It can not be otherwise because this government and this opposition have long been incompatible with this society.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that parliament speaker Artur Baghdasarian has set up another advisory body, defying Prime Minister Andranik Markarian’s claims that the existence of such bodies goes against the law. “Allies consider this a brazen challenge against the coalition and the prime minister,” says the paper. “The Republicans and Dashnaktsutyun will again raise the issue of Artur Baghdasarian’s actions with Robert Kocharian and demand that the work of those populist councils be stopped.”
“A growing number of ex-Soviet countries want to see their future without close ties with Russia,” admits “Hayots Ashkhar.” “Unfortunately, modern-day Russia clearly falls short of the European dream by all standards. If Russia is really concerned about the loss of its influence in the post-Soviet space, it should start from reforming itself. Otherwise, the processes will become irreversible and [Russian] energy resources won’t help anymore.”