“Zhamanak” says that it is not surprised by last week’s sharp rise in deadly fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh and the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. “The situation did not escalate all of a sudden,” writes the paper. “The situation escalated consistently and at the behest of Russia, Armenia’s supposed ally.” The paper alleges that by selling billions of dollars worth of offensive weapons to Azerbaijan Moscow gave Baku the blank check to destabilize the situation in the conflict zone. “What has Armenia done to counter that? Practically nothing,” it says.
“Aravot” speculates that Russian President Vladimir Putin may offer to deploy Russian peacekeepers around Karabakh when he meets with Armenia’s Serzh Sarkisian and Azerbaijan’s Ilham Aliyev in Sochi later this week. “Russia has thus achieved its goal,” writes the paper. “Paris has been replaced by Sochi, the Madrid principles have again been forgotten, and Armenia has reaffirmed its Eurasianness. Meanwhile, several dozen Armenian and Azerbaijani families are now in mourning.”
“Aravot” also says that because of its massive oil revenues the Azerbaijani leadership has “lost its sense of reality and is prone to crazy adventures.” “Fortunately, our army is doing its job well and fighting back those [Azerbaijani] inroads,” the paper says. It is far less happy the Armenian diplomacy.
“Such large-scale hostilities on the border were hardly accidental,” writes “Zhoghovurd.” “The dominant view in political and public circles is that this is a geopolitical game in which Azerbaijan is a mere tool. According to this line of reasoning, big powers and Russia in particular are behind the border incidents.” The paper claims that Moscow may be keen to deploy troops in the conflict zone or force Azerbaijan to join the Russian-led Eurasian Union with a promise to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. It says President Putin is interested in heightened Armenian-Azerbaijani tensions also because it could deflect international criticism of Russia’s role in the Ukraine crisis.
In an interview with “Hraparak,” Koryun Ghumashian, the commander of the Tigran Mets militia that fought Azerbaijani forces in the early 1990s, disapproves of fellow Karabakh war veterans’ desire to join Armenian frontline troops. “We have a state and a commander-in-chief and a defense minister,” he says. “I’m not saying that our freedom fighters have ulterior motives. But we are not going to wage a guerilla war. We need to put up a very sensible and skillful fight in order to be able to win … Let us not underestimate our army.”