In an interview with “Iravunk,” a spokesman for the governing Republican Party of Armenia reaffirms official Yerevan’s position on the Karabakh conflict. “We consider unilateral [Armenian] concessions inadmissible and specify the points where we see no concessions,” says Eduard Sharmazanov. “But beyond that there may certainly be mutual concessions because in the civilized world any agreement is signed as a result of mutual concessions.”
But Lragir.am rejects as unfeasible the very notion of mutual compromise on Karabakh. “Suppose we cede the [occupied] territories and Azerbaijan Karabakh. Would that be proportional?” asks the electronic publication. “At first glance, it may be. It might even seem that we have conceded less because we are giving Azerbaijan what used to belong to Azerbaijan and in return for that are achieving international recognition of Karabakh’s independence and are retaining the Azerbaijani Lachin.” But, continues Lragir.am, by pulling out of those territories the Armenian side would lose its “strategic and military-political positions” vis-à-vis Azerbaijan.
“Hayots Ashkhar” questions the motives of a dozen opposition figures and intellectuals who have set up the Miatsum National Initiative opposed to Armenian concessions on Karabakh. The paper says the same individuals were silent when former President Levon Ter-Petrosian advocated even more concessions to Azerbaijan back in 1997-1998. It says those concessions were thwarted by other persons that are now vilified by the Armenian opposition.
Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian tells “Iravunk-De Facto” that contrary to some press reports, Russian troops stationed in Armenia will not be beefed up and deployed to other parts of the country. “Russia has a military base in Armenia and the deployment of a new base here is out of question,” says Ohanian. He also dismisses talk of an exclusively Russian peace-keeping operation in and around Karabakh.
“Hraparak” claims, meanwhile, that Ohanian has forbidden the heads of the Armenian Defense Ministry departments from posting the pictures of the late Defense Minister Vazgen Sarkisian in their offices. The paper says they can only have the photos of Ohanian and, in some cases, President Serzh Sarkisian. “But some friends of Vazgen Sarkisian refused to comply with the minister’s order and kept the chief military leader’s pictures,” it says.
“Aravot” says Armenia’s government and law-enforcement authorities are chiefly responsible for lingering questions about what happened in Yerevan on March 1. The paper accuses investigators and judges dealing with the March 1 case of failing to properly do their and executing illegal orders issued by the presidential administration.