Commenting on Thomas Hammarberg’s continuing visit to Armenia, “Aravot” says that the Council of Europe’s commissioner for human rights is “not a pure, 100 percent European bureaucrat.” “His soul and brains are not completely molded by meaningless formulas and political interests of his country,” editorializes the paper. “He is also a human rights activist. And although he works under the Council of Europe auspices, he is somewhat independent in terms of his status and mentality.” The paper says that while Armenian opposition and civic activists have a legitimate reason to raise their grievances with Hammarberg, they must not act “against the state.”
“Sometimes, for example, [Armenian] human rights activists say things about our army that must probably not be made public,” continues “Aravot.” The paper also disapproves of those who demand Western sanctions against Armenia.
“Hayots Ashkhar” continues to pour scorn on the opposition for pinning high hopes on Hammarberg. The authorities, by contrast, are following his visit with “restrained caution.” Hammarberg himself has been largely silent so far, notes the paper. “In the meantime, those who have met the commissioner are talking, recounting and making noise.”
“Hraparak” says that Tigran Karapetian, the owner of the embattled ALM TV station, is slowly occupying “the stage that was left vacant after the exit of the political force led by Levon Ter-Petrosian.” The paper says occupiers of that stage spread fear within the ruling regime before “quickly detaching themselves from reality and feeling like the masters of the country.” It says Karapetian “realized at the right moment that ALM’s problem is a petty thing compared with possibilities and prospects offered by that magic stage.”
Ara Nranian, a parliament deputy from the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun), discusses Armenia’s heavy dependence on imports, in an interview with “Yerkir.” “That is not so much our absolute or objective dependence on imports as the consequence of our economic policy,” says Nranian. “For if we look into the structure of imports, we will see that we don’t produce only several items. I am talking about oil products, mining products and foodstuffs like wheat which we have to import because for the time being our economy is unable to produce them in proper numbers. It’s no secret that mainly a small group of individuals engage in imports in Armenia … Everyone understands that it’s harder to manufacture things in our country than to import them, and that is the reason why imports are rising day by day.”