Andranik Migranian, an Armenian-born Russian pundit, tells “Azg” that Russia is indeed trying to play a larger role in international efforts to resolve the conflicts in Nagorno-Karabakh and elsewhere in the former Soviet Union. Migranian puts Russian President Vladimir Putin’s intention to initiate Karabakh talks with his Armenian counterpart Robert Kocharian in Moscow within this context.
“Yerkir” also notes that Moscow is keen to “restore its leading role in the Karabakh settlement.” “The U.S. and Europe are disappointed with the failure of the meeting in France between Armenia’s and Azerbaijan’s presidents because it enables Russia to restore its role as the number one mediator in the Karabakh settlement process,” writes the paper.
“Moscow does not want the resolution of the Karabakh conflict to follow a scenario drawn up by Western mediators,” writes “Hayots Ashkhar.” “That is why Russia is trying to tell the Americans, who can’t wait to see the foreign ministers of the two countries to meet in Washington in early March, that it is the one who controls the Karabakh package.” The paper regards Putin’s statement as an attempt to help “the party which has found itself in trouble during the negotiations.” “Russia’s real aim is not to ensure Azerbaijan’s success in the peace process, but to assist in the realization of Ilham Aliev’s cherished desire to avoid signing any document [on Karabakh] by all means,” it claims. “Putin’s latest initiative only testifies to a lack of Russian-American agreement on the future of our region.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” believes that Kocharian should have politely turned down Putin’s extraordinary invitation. “But of course it is clear that Vladimir Putin would have never taken the risk of making such a statement in Azerbaijan if he had seen even a one percent chance of Robert Kocharian responding to him in such a way,” says the paper. In the meantime, it says, Aliev will not hesitate to renew his taunting claims that “Armenia is not pursuing an independent policy and he doesn’t know whether to negotiate with Armenia or its masters.” “Ilham Aliev can add today that he has decided after all to negotiate with the masters,” concludes the paper.
Several newspapers carry an open letter by Karabakh Armenian politicians and public figures to “the people of Armenia” that blasts Yerevan’s determination to continue to negotiate with Baku without Stepanakert’s involvement. The letter is construed by “Iravunk” as another indication of Karabakh’s discontent with Armenia’s acceptance of the latest peace plan put forward by the OSCE Minsk Group. “In essence, everyone, from the NKR president to ordinary residents of Artsakh, is unhappy,” it says.
“Aravot” likewise says the Karabakh Armenians are “certainly” against the idea of holding a referendum on their status in 10-15 years’ time. “For they believe that after 10-15 years there would be so many Azeri families in Artsakh that Karabakh would finally become Azerbaijani,” explains the paper.