(Saturday, June 6)
“168 Zham” speculates that the opposition Zharangutyun party criticized Levon Ter-Petrosian’s Armenian National Congress (HAK) on Friday under pressure from the United States. The paper claims that the U.S. is “extremely worried” about Ter-Petrosian’s June 1 remark that no documents signed by President Serzh Sarkisian, especially those concerning the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and Turkish-Armenian relations, will be deemed legal by the opposition.
In an interview with “Hayots Ashkhar,” Rafik Petrosian, a parliament deputy from the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), makes a case for the release of opposition members arrested following the March 2008 violence in Yerevan. Petrosian says political tensions in the country have been easing since then and an opposition amnesty would “stabilize the atmosphere of tolerance.”
“Hayk” condemns harsh prison sentences demanded by prosecutors for several of the imprisoned opposition leaders. The opposition paper says the prosecutors failed to substantiate their accusations during those oppositionists’ trials. “They failed because it is impossible to prove something which didn’t occur,” it says.
Finance Minister Tigran Davtian tells “Kapital” that the Armenian government has all but completed all paperwork needed for obtaining a $500 million loan from Russia. Davtian says no other intergovernmental agreements signed by Yerevan have been put into practice so rapidly. He also says that Armenia’s debt burden will remain manageable and moderate even after the receipt of this and other anti-crisis loans secured by his government. “Usually an external debt/GDP ratio of up to 50 percent is not considered risky,” he says. “We are still far away from that level … We are doing what many other countries are doing.”