“Haykakan Zhamanak” believes that Russia’s decision to recognize South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states put Armenia in an extremely difficult situation. “On the one hand, it can not openly welcome Russia’s move because it would spoil relations with Georgia, something which a blockaded Armenia can not afford,” writes the paper. “On the other hand, Armenia can not condemn something done by the Kremlin. Besides, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict is similar to the conflicts in South Ossetia and Abkhazia. So how can Armenia not welcome the recognition of these unrecognized republics by any country of the world?”
“For us, a good thing about this process is that Armenia’s recognition of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic would no longer be accepted [by the world] as sharply as it would have been in the past,” writes “Azg.” “That the issue of Artsakh’s recognition … is timely is a fact.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” says Moscow has “crossed the Rubicon” and created a fait accompli for its Western rivals. “They can now make noise, threaten, isolate Russia, and Georgia’s leaders will even try to provoke a clash between the Russian and NATO warships massing in the Black Sea,” says the paper. But that, it concludes, will not change the situation on the ground.
“Obviously, Russia will now try to make its allies and satellites recognize Abkhazia’s and South Ossetia’s independence,” editorializes “Aravot.” “There are many levers to force the Armenian authorities to take that step: ‘If you don’t recognize, we will cut off gas, strip you of nuclear fuel, arm Azerbaijan.’ A defiance of Russia would lead to catastrophic consequences. But a recognition [of the breakaway regions’ independence] is just as dangerous.” In that case, says the paper, Armenia would badly spoil its relations with not only Georgia but also the West.
“Hayastani Hanrapetutyun” quotes the U.S. charge d’affaires in Yerevan, Joseph Pennington, as saying that the United States is doing its best to broker a peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “I think that the authorities in Armenia and Azerbaijan realize that a war would be disastrous and that a military solution is not an option,” he says.
“The authorities are trying to suppress the popular movement with traditional methods,” “Hraparak” says, commenting on the latest police actions in Yerevan’s Northern Avenue. “Those methods have for years been applied and worked well. But the authorities forget that a new situation has arisen in Armenia in 2008, especially after March 1. A new society has emerged. It is meaningless to talk to it from the position of force.”