“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports on the arrest of at least two Armenian citizens in New York on charges of plotting to smuggle weapons into the United States. “The course of the investigation suggests that arrests will also be made in Armenia under American pressure,” predicts the paper.
But “Hayots Ashkhar” raises questions about the credibility of the accusations, saying that Artur Solomonian and his brother “could not have dealt with Armenia at least in the last three or four years.” The paper points to the fact that both men fled Armenia in 2001 to evade military service. “It is hard to imagine a more nonsensical thing than two brothers on the run from Armenia trying to smuggle weapons into the United States.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that Nagorno-Karabakh President Arkady Ghukasian has left for Moscow to attend a “semi-secret” meeting of leaders of ex-Soviet breakaway regions. “The idea of organizing such meetings was never liked by the Armenian and Karabakh authorities and they did everything to avoid such contacts and discussions,” says the paper. “But in effect, Russia has forced the Armenian side to get involved in the process this time around.” The paper points out that the Armenian leaders have always been against drawing parallels between ex-Soviet ethnic conflicts.
“168 Zham” reports that the Lebanese-owned company Karabakh Telecom will bring 50 Karabakh families to Yerevan to work at its mobile phone network which is expected to be launched by the end of this year.
“Hayots Ashkhar” is concerned about the proliferation and strengthening of government-linked organizations uniting natives of various parts of Armenia and Karabakh, saying that they are threatening to “split and divide” the country. The paper attributes this phenomenon to the absence of a “uniting national idea.”
“168 Zham” reports that businessman Ara Abrahamian has been condemned by another leader of the Armenian community in Russia, Levon Chakhmakhchian, for criticizing Armenia’s government during his last visit to Yerevan. “A person who lives outside Armenia has no right to slam or criticize the president of Armenia because he was elected by the people,” Chakhmakhchian is quoted as saying. “I see no alternative to Robert Kocharian in Armenia. There is no other person who could become Armenia’s president.”