“Hayots Ashkhar” says the latest statements by Azerbaijani leaders leave international mediators “with no possibility of achieving mutual compromise” on Nagorno-Karabakh. “The impression is that the Nagorno-Karabakh army is not in control of [the Azerbaijani town of] Aghdam, while the Azerbaijani army is on the outskirts of Yerevan,” notes the paper. “Official Baku is even demonstratively demanding that peace proposals made public recently by [U.S. mediator] Matthew Bryza be revised.” It says the Azerbaijani government is openly rejecting the idea of holding a referendum in Karabakh.
The idea is also dismissed by a top aide to Karabakh President Arkady Ghukasian. “Talk of a referendum is just talk because it has no formulated content,” Arman Melikian tells “168 Zham.” “Azerbaijan says that referendum is not legitimate because only the entire population of their country, which they believe includes the Karabakh Armenians, can take part in a referendum. The road is closed. What are we talking about?”
“There is only one achievement,” adds Melikian. “The international community has finally found Nagorno-Karabakh’s independence acceptable. They are ready to recognize Karabakh’s independence by means of a referendum.”
In an interview with “Aravot,” opposition leader Artashes Geghamian predicts an impending “palace coup” in Armenia which he says will be sparked by the Karabakh peace process. Geghamian the July 22 conference of the governing Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) marked the beginning of the regime change.
“Zhamanak Yerevan” says Russia closed its main border crossing with Georgia last month “in order to punish Georgia and Armenia.” “The closure of the border mainly affects Armenia as Georgia does not quite use that crossing,” says the paper. “Kocharian is now holding meetings in Sochi with President Putin, discussing big issues and there is hope that he will take the risk and also raise the issue of reopening the Upper Lars crossing. But the bitter experience of past Armenian-Russian relations suggests that Putin will demand a bigger thing from Kocharian in return.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” rings alarm bells over the continuing shrinkage of green areas in Yerevan. The paper says municipal authorities have sold more plots of land in the city’s largest Victory Park, which has already shrunk considerably in recent years. “Who bought that territory? On what conditions? It’s not known,” it says.