“Taregir” laments the abundance of “the people’s saviors” in the Armenian political arena, presenting a long list of both pro-government and opposition politicians. The paper says they may hate each other, but there is one thing that unites them: populism. But Armenians, it says approvingly, “no longer react to anyone and anything.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” reacts to Raffi Hovannisian’s angry questions to President Robert Kocharian with a list of similar queries addressed to the opposition leader. He is accused of having asked Kocharian to break the law and backdate his citizenship to 1992. The paper wonders if Hovannisian called Kocharian an “acting president” when he made that request. It also asks why Hovannisian showed no interest in Kocharian’s citizenship when he was appointed by the latter in 1998 to run the government department on book publishing and then the All-Armenian Fund Hayastan.
“If you have facts about individuals killed at the president’s behest or with his knowledge outside the zone of military hostilities, why are you hiding behind questions?” continues “Hayots Ashkhar.” “If you have something to say, appeal to law-enforcement bodies.”
“The Armenian public expected a non-increase in the price of gas from the meeting of Robert Kocharian and Vladimir Putin,” writes “Iravunk.” The paper says the Russian president failed to meet that expectation. It also expresses bewilderment at the fact that Kocharian publicly thanked Putin for holding Russia’s Year in Armenia.
“Armenia remains unlucky in its relationships with its strategic ally,” comments “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.” “For in reality, those relationships are not strategic or allied but vassal-type.” The paper puts that against a backdrop of a growing wave of violent xenophobia in Russia which is primarily directed at people from the Caucasus, including Armenians. It concludes grimly that “the Armenians have been completely deprived of a sense of dignity in their relations with the Russians.”
Virtually all Armenian papers carry congratulatory reports on Armenian Levon Aronian’s weekend victory in the chess World Cup held in Russia. “We are champions, we are winners,” editorializes a jubilant “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “This is an event which we are obliged to celebrate, to use for establishing ourselves and drawing inspiration.”