(Saturday, December 8)
“Zhamanak” comments on media reports that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has criticized Russia’s efforts to create a Eurasian Union of ex-Soviet states and said Washington will try to counter them. “The United States has previously never spoken out so openly against economic or military-political projects implemented in the post-Soviet space,” writes the paper. “The existing projects were perceived in Washington with understanding, even during the more radical Republican administrations.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that ex-Soviet ruling parties, among them the Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), have signed a declaration in Saint Petersburg that represents “the first step towards the restoration of the former Soviet Union.” “The ruling parties bear responsibility for integration processes geared towards the creation of the Eurasian Union,” a senior Russian lawmaker, Sergey Zheleznyak, is quoted as saying. The paper says that there is no consensus on the issue within the HHK leadership, with Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian claiming on Friday that he is not aware of that declaration. Another senior HHK member, Galust Sahakian, claimed that no such document was signed in Russia’s second largest city.
“Zhoghovurd” says that Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) leader Gagik Tsarukian essentially “burned all bridges” with the government with his statements made during a visit to Brussels. It is not clear to the paper whether Tsarukian’s claim that Armenia is governed by corrupt individuals was a deliberate attack or a slip of the tongue. “After all, it is no secret that Tsarukian lacks experience of meetings in such formats and serious negotiating skills,” it says. The paper says Tsarukian’s verbal attack is also noteworthy given his “wealth accumulated as a result of corrupt deals” and his being “an influential part of the current corrupt authorities in the not-so-distant past.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” slams the BHK’s “peculiar” political tactic which it says amounts to “political amnesia.” The paper also notes that Tsarukian’s party was part of the government it is now strongly criticizing as recently as several months ago.
The HHK’s Galust Sahakian, meanwhile, tells “168 Zham” that if Tsarukian does decide to stand as a candidate in the February 2013 presidential election he will do so not necessarily “for becoming president.” Sahakian argues that even failed presidential bids raise political leaders’ profiles and galvanize their political teams. Besides, he says, a good thing about the BHK’s failure to endorse President Serzh Sarkisian’s reelection plans is that the ruling party will not have to reward Tsarukian in return.