“Azg” reprints a newspaper article by Russia’s former top Nagorno-Karabakh mediator, Vladimir Kazimirov, in which he claims that the Armenian side hopes Azerbaijan will finally reject the OSCE Minsk Group’s existing peace plan. “That allows [the Armenians] to take a more advantageous and less outrageous position,” Kazimirov writes, adding that Azerbaijan’s leadership is in a more difficult situation. “It is becoming more and more evident that Ilham Aliev does not actually want an agreement and is stalling for time in the hope of getting stronger,” he says.
“The Armenian occupation of [Azerbaijani] territories was no doubt a serious trauma for us,” “Azg” also quotes Azerbaijani psychologist Azad Isazade as telling Day.az. “In the early 1990s, the Azerbaijani people still hoped to unite Karabakh with their country, and people pinned hopes on Russia, Turkey, Heydar Aliev’s return to power or a quick signing of oil agreements. But as years went by, hope for returning Karabakh began to fade along with the pain of its loss.”
“Zhamanak Yerevan” reports that Justice Minister David Harutiunian is poised to join Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia party. The paper says some of his friends and allies have already joined it. It argues that Tsarukian offers Harutiunian the only realistic hope of remaining in the political arena after almost a decade in government.
“In essence, there are now attempts to drive the radical opposition out of the political stage and into the political sidelines,” parliament deputy Hmayak Hovannisian tells “Aravot.” “According to that scenario, only two forces must have room on the political stage: the HHK as the party of power and Prosperous Armenia which has been given the role of a systemic opposition,” says Hovannisian. “That systemic opposition will be pitted against the radical opposition that will be driven into the political underground.”
“Aravot” accuses the Armenian authorities of deliberately boosting the value of the dram, calling its renewed appreciation a “national plunder.” “Many are convinced that the dollar’s exchange rate will fall to 350 drams per dollar [from 400 drams] in the near future,” says the paper. “This process, which is almost disastrous for a considerable part of Armenia’s population, is kindly described by official circles as an appreciation of the national currency. But the people are not complete idiots to believe that illogical talk. They are sure that as a result of this very big and very dirty game a very limited number of people are settling their monetary issues worth billions [of drams.]”