In a commentary on the 13th anniversary of Nagorno-Karabakh’s declaration of independence, “Hayots Ashkhar” describes the unrecognized republic as an island of stability and democratic progress in the volatile region. “Nagorno-Karabakh is gradually becoming a stalwart of stability, democracy and peace in the entire South Caucasus,” the paper says. “Furthermore, in terms of domestic organization, popular consolidation and the consistency and determination of pursuing its goals, it is beginning to serve as an example to Armenia as well.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” adds that Karabakh’s “achievements” in the integration with Armenia and broader ties with the outside world are spreading jitters in Azerbaijan. “The latter feels that it has lost Karabakh, but to confess that would mean further complicating the country’s internal and external situation.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” quotes the chief of the Karabakh army’s staff, General Movses Hakobian, as saying recently that the Karabakh military can not stay away from politics. “We are not indifferent to political processes because after all, our supreme commander is elected as a result of them. The president must therefore be someone who can command and lead us.” The Karabakh general believes that “democracy has to be moderate.” “A warring country and democracy are incompatible things. If we now want to enter European structures and enjoy freedoms existing in European countries, then let us first achieve our supreme goal, finish the war. After that we won’t care about who is elected.”
“If we don’t populate lands it makes no sense to keep them,” Hakobian says in reference to the Armenian-controlled districts in Azerbaijan proper. “We must not fall into a historical euphoria. That land is occupied, not liberated.” He indicates that the Karabakh Armenians will have to withdraw from most of that territory if Azerbaijan resigns itself to the loss of Karabakh.
“Sociopolitical stability [in Armenia] exists only on surface and is not grounded in the feelings of the majority of citizens,” writes “Hayots Ashkhar.” “Against such a background, potentially dangerous processes are intensifying. The first and arguably most important is a bureaucratization. Bureaucracy has become an autonomous economic force.” The Armenian elite is increasingly detached from the people. “Such stability can not lead to rapid growth or prosperity because the [Soviet-style] nomenklatura is only interested in meeting citizens’ minimal needs to avoid dealing with their discontent.”
“Today Armenia needs a jump in the socioeconomic sphere that would hinder the strengthening of the current stagnant situation,” says “Golos Armenii.” “But such a jump requires a team of competent people dedicated to the cause. Many of the present minister do not leave such impression.”