“Zhamanak” describes as “unprecedented” the fact that Russia, unlike its ally Armenia, is not represented by any of its officials at the NATO summit in Newport, Wales, which also served as an occasion for a fresh meeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents. “It is unprecedented in the sense that there is a Western initiative [on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict] not involving Russia,” explains the paper. “Until now there have been many Russian initiatives not involving the West. From this standpoint we are probably witnessing a kind of balancing act in the Karabakh peace process.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says that the West’s standoff with Russia over the crisis in Ukraine is making a breakthrough in that process even less likely. The paper says that one should therefore have no great expectations from the NATO summit. “That would mean an attempt to solve the Karabakh problem without Russia, which seems unlikely as it would only further complicate things, instead of solving any issue. If [Serzh] Sarkisian and [Ilham] Aliyev are to reach any agreement it must inevitably involve Russia, the other co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group. But Russia is not present at the NATO summit.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” also contends that the very fact of a meeting between Aliyev and Sarkisian, even a futile one, is important to the United States because U.S. officials did not take part in the previous Armenian-Azerbaijani summit that was organized by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in Sochi a month ago. “Yesterday’s meeting was important for the Americans for restoring their full-fledged status as a full-fledged co-chair [of the OSCE Minsk Group,]” it says.