(Saturday, August 13)
Lragir.am suggests that as a result of the latest meetings of Russian President Vladimir Putin with his Azerbaijani, Iranian, Turkish and Armenian counterparts “it has again been decided to freeze the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.” “There appear to be insufficient means and resources to implement the plan of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Russia, as Armenia does not agree to cede territories in return for some vague guarantees. Perhaps in this matter Armenia also enjoys the support of some third forces,” it writes. According to the news website, while the probability of another Azerbaijani attempt to regain at least some small portion of territory militarily remains, it is likely that the search for a political solution to the protracted conflict will be put off until after the 2017 parliamentary elections in Armenia.
The editor of “Aravot” deplores what he sees as a pattern in which unverified information and speculation in the media become a significant factor in forming public opinion. “I’ve read in several media outlets recently that Putin said: “Armenians must cede the land.” Myths of this kind spread very quickly and there is no point in trying to refute them because people tend to trust the information that they are predisposed to believe. And this is what my experience of the past 25 years proves. For example, the first president of Armenia has never said that “our strength is in our weakness” and anyone who talked to Levon Ter-Petrosian for at least 10 minutes would assure you that the man could not have possibly expressed such a thought. Yet, his opponents continue to attribute this phrase to him without any kind of document, video or audio recordings that would prove their allegations,” he writes.
Clearly referring to the aftermath of the latest internal political standoff in Armenia connected with the attack of an armed group affiliated with a fringe opposition movement on a police station in Yerevan, “Hraparak” suggests that each spike in political tensions in Armenia is followed by a greater deepening of social polarization. “People who are already on the different poles of society – the rich and the poor, those with good jobs and high incomes and those unemployed, the powers that be and ordinary people – move even further away from each other. Meanwhile, hatred in society grows amid a reduced ability of the different social groups to perceive each other’s positions,” the paper writes.