“Information coming from various sources is increasingly exposing the fact that the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group expect from the parties to the Karabakh conflict an agreement on the principles of a settlement before the G8 summit in Saint Petersburg scheduled for July 15-17,” writes “Hayots Ashkhar.” “We think that the main puzzle at this stage of the Karabakh negotiating process lies not in details relating to a new meeting of the [Armenian and Azerbaijani] presidents but in the fact that a clear one-month deadline has been set for a framework peace agreement.” The paper says that deadline is the reason why the foreign ministers of the two nations met in Paris just days after the failed Armenian-Azerbaijani summit in Bucharest.
“Armenia has almost officially been declared Russia’s outpost in the region,” writes “168 Zham.” “Furthermore, Russia is currently formalizing that status. That is, it is buying up the key sectors of the [Armenian] economy.” The paper alleges that the Russians are bent on boosting the population of its “outpost” through a forcible repatriation of hundreds of thousands of Armenians living in Russia. It says this might explain why there have been virtually no reports of ethnic Georgians killed by Russian skinheads despite the extremely strained relations between Moscow and Tbilisi. “If Georgia was Russia’s regional outpost, Georgians too would be harassed in Moscow so that they return to Georgia and swell the ranks of the outpost personnel.”
“Aravot” says one of the two posts of deputy parliament speaker will likely remain vacant until next autumn. “There is talk in the parliament corridors of Hranush Hakobian, a non-partisan member of the Republican Party faction [in the National Assembly], being the best candidate for the post,” writes the paper. But, it adds, the job will almost certainly be given to the United Labor Party, a new member of the governing coalition, for political considerations.
Citing a Karabakh lawmaker, “Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that the president of the unrecognized republic, Arkady Ghukasian, has again expressed his discontent with the quality of construction work financed by the All-Armenian Fund Hayastan. The lawmaker, Garik Grigorian, specifically refers to Karabakh’s Hayastan-financed “backbone” highway which is currently under-construction. Karabakh’s construction minister, Marat Hakobjanian, is quoted as saying that the Stepanakert government will soon discuss the issue. Incidentally, Hayastan’s executive director is Naira Melkumian, Ghukasian’s former foreign minister.