“Zhamanak” says that Prime Minister Karen Karapetian may be left out of the ruling HHK’s electoral list because he has not lived in Armenia for the last five or four years. The paper notes that Robert Kocharian controversially flouted a similar legal requirement before becoming president in 1998. It says that Karapetian does not want to follow Kocharian’s example.
“Aravot” says the fact that Armenia wants the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) to react to Azerbaijani ceasefire violations does not mean that it is desperate to see its nominal or real military allies deploy troops on Armenia’s borders. “Our expectations from the CSTO concern only one issue: will aggressive actions taken by Azerbaijan against Armenia from time to time be condemned or not?” writes the paper. It also notes that some CSTO member states do not want Armenia to name the Russian-led alliance’s next secretary general. This is actually good for Armenia, it claims. “Who knows what anti-Armenian policy the CSTO could pursue in case an Armenian representative serves [as its secretary general,]” argues the paper.
In an interview with “Hayots Ashkhar,” Artak Zakarian, the chairman of the Armenian parliament committee on foreign relations, criticizes the “belated” statement issued by the U.S., Russian and French co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group in connection with the December 29 deadly skirmish on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. “That statement should have been made on December 29, and not 12 days after the incident,” says Zakarian. He also faults the three mediators for not blaming Azerbaijan for the incident. “With such untargeted statements, the Minsk Group co-chairs weaken their mediating efforts,” claims the senior pro-government lawmaker.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” quotes Georgia’s Energy Minister Kakha Kaladze as saying that Georgian-Russian negotiations on the transit through Georgian territory of Russian natural gas supplied to Armenia have still not yielded an agreement. The paper notes that one of the stated reasons for a drop in Armenian gas prices sanctioned by regulators late last month was assurances by Armenia’s Russian-owned gas distribution network that Georgia will likely lower its transit fees. “The statement by the Georgian energy minister shows that such a prospect is quite murky,” it says.