In an interview with “Aravot,” parliament speaker Hovik Abrahamian rules out the possibility of pre-term presidential or parliamentary elections in Armenia. “Pre-term elections require serious internal or foreign policy prerequisites,” he says. “The desire or an order by one or several political forces does not create the necessity for pre-term elections. Today the political situation in the country is stable, predictable and manageable.” Abrahamian says that instead of “wasting” its energy on talk of snap elections, the Armenian opposition should seriously prepare for regular polls due in 2012 and 2013.
“To put it mildly, the United States doesn’t care much about Nagorno-Karabakh’s fate,” “Hayots Ashkhar” writes in a commentary on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s upcoming visit to Yerevan. “But admittedly, it needs peace and, if possible, an opportunity to weaken Russia’s presence in Armenia. So the signing of a Karabakh deal based on the Madrid or any other principles would enable it to push forward Turkish-Armenian relations, regardless of how and in whose favor the process of the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement would proceed after that.”
The paper says this policy is a “challenge” to Russia. It claims that Moscow regards the deployment of Russian troops in the conflict zone as “the only possible variant” of a settlement. “If peacekeeping troops consist of contingents from insignificant countries and, more importantly, if Russia does not participate in such a mission, then, as they think in Baku, provoking a new conflict and seizing Karabakh will not be that difficult for Azerbaijan after it gets back the liberated territories,” it says.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” quotes top Armenian army generals as dismissing this week’s “sensational” claims by Artur Baghdasarian, the secretary of the National Security Council, that Armenia’s borders are not properly protected. “I can’t understand how you can make such a statement,” says General Levon Yeranosian. “Our army is strong and is ready to defend the borders and hit back at any moment.” “Was that said by an Azerbaijani?” says another army commander, Haykaz Baghmanian.
“Zhamanak” reports that Georgia’s government has moved to privatize a pipeline carrying Russian natural gas to Armenia. The paper says that the rest of Georgia’s gas distribution network is already managed by Azerbaijan’s state oil company. “And if this facility of strategic and even vital importance to Armenia is also placed under Azerbaijani control, not only Georgian parliamentarians but the Armenian authorities … will be responsible for that,” it says.
Interviewed by “Iravunk de facto,” Ara Nranian, a parliament deputy from the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, criticizes the Armenian government’s “neo-liberal” economic policies. Nranian says the government is eager to protect only the interests of employees, rather than working people.