“Hraparak” quotes the US cochairman of the OSCE Minsk Group, Matthew Bryza, as making a “thus far carefully concealed” statement in Baku.
“We are hopeful that Azerbaijan’s occupied territories would be returned to this country. The presidents of Azerbaijan and Armenia must find common grounds on this matter. The issue of a referendum can be discussed after an [Armenian] withdrawal from territories and deployment of peacekeepers there,” Bryza reportedly said.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” also editorializes on the Minsk Group troika’s visit to Baku: “We can say that these are mere statements, the wishes of the Azerbaijani side, but not in a very distant past when Azerbaijanis were talking about the return of territories, officials in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh did not treat such statements seriously. Meanwhile, this is a reality today certified with the Moscow summit declaration. And so, if things develop this way and the issue of a referendum is raised only after the Armenian withdrawal, the discussions will focus on how to return a million Azeris to Nagorno-Karabakh and the nearby districts.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” slams the opposition choice of a representative to the recently formed group of experts tasked with collecting key facts relating to the March 1 unrest.
“We, as connoisseurs of the domestic political stage, were dismayed at the news about [former president and opposition leader] Levon Ter-Petrosian’s delegating Andranik Kocharian as his representative to the Fact-Finding Group of Experts. Because the president’s executive order of October 23 clearly states that only persons with high reputation and vast experience in the field of law who are not members of parliament or a political party and have no partisan affiliation can serve as members of the group.”
The pro-establishment newspaper continues: “Only madmen can think that Andranik Kocharian enjoys high prestige in the field of law and has no affiliation with the former ruling Armenian Pan-National Movement (HHSh) party.”
“Aravot” editorializes on the piece of economic news that it says has gone unnoticed amid actively discussed topics such as foreign policy and domestic issues.
“The flow of information related to the Nagorno-Karabakh process and [the consequences of] the post-election violence appears to have overshadowed International Monetary Fund (IMF) permanent representative in Armenia Ninke Oomes’s statement that unless consumer prices in our country decrease considerably in the coming month, the IMF will have to speak about the presence of restrictions on market competition in Armenia. The thing is that the world prices are falling, and ours are not… leading to the assumption that prices in Armenia are formed not through market mechanisms.”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” writes on the situation in the mining industry based in Armenia’s southernmost Syunik province: “Years ago, several overseas companies – or not so ‘overseas’ as many believe – were engaged in a highly lucrative export of copper and molybdenum keeping tightlipped on international copper and especially molybdenum prices. These prices become known [to the public at large] only now when business owners are making a noise over falling international prices and it suddenly turns out that only two months ago the price of copper was $8,000 per ton and one ton of molybdenum was selling at as much as $80,000. That is, for years Armenia has been plundered in the same barbaric manner as the British colonies in Africa were being plundered during the 19th century.”