“Zhamanak” is dissatisfied with Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian’s explanations about Armenian diplomatic actions with regard to the January escalation of tensions in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The paper says that instead of merely informing the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and other international bodies, Yerevan should have demanded an emergency meeting of the foreign ministers of CSTO member states on the situation in the conflict zone. “It is clear that the Armenian Foreign Ministry will not do that until it gets instructions from Moscow,” it claims. “But Moscow will not give such instructions because Azerbaijan is an object of [Russian] strategic interest.”
“168 Zham” says that Nalbandian’s calls for further strengthening Russian-Armenian relations amounted to an endorsement of Russia’s “unfriendly” actions relating to the January 12 killing of seven members of an Armenian family in Gyumri. “Nobody must doubt that the Russian side will be happy with Nalbandian for defending Russia’s interests in the first instance,” writes the paper.
“Predictions that processes unfolding after the brutal killings in Gyumri will be politicized and that there will be attempts to use the tragedy for certain purposes are proving to be true,” writes “Hayots Ashkhar.” “The target is Russian-Armenian relations. Forces keen to drive a wedge between the two countries have sharply intensified their activities … The causes of calls for the withdrawal of the Russian military base [in Armenia] should be searched here. Incidentally, such calls are being made in both Armenia and Russia. Some obscure Russian websites have started circulating claims that Russians are demanding the base’s withdrawal in support of the murderer [Valery] Permyakov. The motive is clear: to make Armenians believe that the Russians are defending the murderous soldier.”
“Zhoghovurd” says that a renewed Armenian-Azerbaijan war for Karabakh is not as unlikely at this juncture as it may seem. “Even our Defense Ministry representatives now admit a qualitative change in Azeri incursions, especially in terms of weapons involved,” writes the paper.