“Zhamanak” claims that Russia regards Turkey and Azerbaijan as “very important partners in its standoff with the West and in its efforts to maintain its presence in the South Caucasus and the Middle East.” The paper notes that President Vladimir Putin phoned his Turkish and Azerbaijani counterparts, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Ilham Aliyev, after their parties won weekend parliamentary elections held in their respective countries. It speculates that Erdogan and Aliyev now feel more confident and may well demand a higher price for cooperating with Moscow. The latter may decide to make concessions to them at the expense of Armenia’s interests, it says.
“Zhoghovurd” reports that a standing committee of the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) has approved an anti-Armenian report on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict that has been drawn up by a pro-Azerbaijani British parliamentarian. “Obviously that document cannot have a decisive impact on the resolution of the Karabakh problem,” writes the paper. Nevertheless, it says, the PACE report marks a “serious defeat for Armenia in the area of parliamentary diplomacy.” “Azerbaijan will be able to make references to this report in the future.
“Asparez” quotes Sahak Minasian, the head of the Shirak chapter of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), as strongly denying reports that HHK representatives are pressing schoolteachers in the region and parents of their students to vote for President Serzh Sarkisian’s constitutional changes in the December 6 referendum. “I haven’t even talked to school principals on this subject,” says Minasian.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” brushes aside claims by another senior Republican, Vahram Baghdasarian, that most Armenians are already inclined to back the sweeping amendments to the national constitution. Baghdasarian has said his conclusion is based on his conversations with ordinary voters “during funerals and on other occasions.” “Can you imagine the following scene?” asks the paper. “After the body of a deceased person is laid to rest in a cemetery, people approach Vahram Baghdasarian, shake his hand and inform with a sorrowful voice that they will definitely say yes to the constitutional changes.”