“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” lambastes the Armenian police chief, Alik Sargsian, for warning the opposition against holding more unsanctioned street protests. “The important thing is that Alik Sargsian considers protection of policemen to be his main function,” says the opposition paper. “It doesn’t even cross his mind that he is obliged to enforce the law, rather than protect policemen.” The police, it says, are not a law-enforcement body but a “party to the conflict” between the Armenian government and the opposition.
“Hayots Ashkhar” defends itself against accusations of anti-Semitism contained in the U.S. State Department’s latest annual report on religious freedom around the world. “Has any Jew in Armenia suffered since the opposition attacked the government with Israeli flags?” argues the pro-government paper. “Has any of them heard nasty statements or been verbally abused for their ethnic or religious affiliation?” The paper insists that Levon Ter-Petrosian and other opposition leaders enlisted the support of “Jewish organizations” and received cash from the latter in their bid topple the government.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” joins other opposition publications in condemning President Serzh Sarkisian for suggesting that Azerbaijan could win over the Karabakh Armenians if it invests heavily in their disputed region. The paper also finds unconvincing the Armenian presidential administration’s claims that Sarkisian’s remarks, made in an interview with BBC’s Azerbaijani service were distorted. It claims that the president disowned his own remarks after realizing that they will not go down well with the domestic public.
“Aravot” quotes Vahan Shirkhanian, an opposition politician and former deputy defense minister, as saying that Armenia’s “complementary” foreign policy engagers its national security. “Military security does not tolerate complementarity,” says Shirkhanian. “The more so in the case of the Republic of Armenia. You have to be in one of the existing security systems as a credible and reliable ally committed to your contractual obligations.” Shirkhanian is therefore opposed to Armenia’s balancing “games” between NATO and the Russian-led Collective Security Treaty Organization.
“The Republican Party of Armenia is entering the decisive phase of its political degradation,” writes Lragir.am. “The so-called political wing and old crime figures are being driven out of the party. Its so-called ideological base and players are being changed. Right now that is manifesting itself in the local elections. It is not accidental that Republicans or criminal elements close to the Republicans are fighting against each other in virtually all communities.”