“Aravot” comments on reports that Polad Bulbuloglu, Azerbaijan’s ambassador to Russia who visited Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh recently on a peace mission, has added his voice to bellicose statements made by Azerbaijani officials. Bulbuloglu seemingly compared a possible Azerbaijani assault on Nagorno-Karabakh with Russia’s August 2008 military campaign against Georgia. In an editorial, the paper dsimisses the statement, arguing that it was Georgia that attempted to win back a breakaway region and that Azerbaijan can not even compare its military might to that of Russia.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” carries a scathing front-page editorial on the Armenian government’s announced plans to seek an estimated $1.5 million in external loans for upgrading the country’s main north-south highways. The paper believes that the project, if implemented, will needlessly heighten Armenia’s debt burden that has already risen since January.
“Of course it can not be ruled out that this is yet another public relations stunt,” continues “Haykakan Zhamanak.” “This is certainly one of the likely theories. But there is also another, more terrible theory.” The opposition paper speculates that the recent release of more than $1 billion in loans to Armenia by foreign lending institutions and governments is a reward for Yerevan’s far-reaching concessions in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “It’s hard to find a naïve [lender] who would give loans to a country like Armenia which is locked in a military conflict, surrounded by enemies, pursues an extremely dubious, to say the least, economic policy, and is ruled by oligarchs and a government hated by the public, and to expect to have their money back,” it says. “Therefore, it can be asserted for certain that the provision of lavish loans and progress in the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement process are not a coincidence.”
“The alternative to the independence of the Nagorno-Karabakh is war,” Artashes Geghamian, the leader of the National Unity Party, writes in an article published by “Hayots Ashkhar.” “And given this obvious reality, putting pressure on the Armenian side and trying to force the Republic of Armenia to give up the idea of Nagorno-Karabakh’s independence is tantamount to shouldering responsibility for provoking a new war in the South Caucasus.” Geghamian also makes a case for a “consolidation of our people,” saying that he regards opposition attacks on the government at this juncture as “covert treason.”