Joseph Presel, a U.S. diplomat who was involved in Armenian-Azerbaijani peace talks in 1995-1997, tells “Aravot” that international mediators did not manage to broker a solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh at the time because of maximalist positions of both warring sides. “There was no intention to make mutual concessions,” he is quoted as saying. “Back then what was good for [Armenian President Levon] Ter-Petrosian wasn’t good for [Azerbaijan’s President] Heydar Aliyev and vice versa. Besides, I believe that Russia did not want to achieve a settlement and we could not [achieve it] on our own.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” quotes Khachatur Kokobelian, the leader of the opposition Free Democrats party, as criticizing the ratification by the Armenian parliament of Kyrgyzstan’s accession treaty with the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU). Kokobelian argues that the Armenian government has not negotiated with Kyrgyzstan’s leaders on the Central Asian republic’s EEU membership bid. “We don’t know that country’s positions on issues critical for us, notably the Nagorno-Karabakh issue,” he says. He also notes that Kyrgyzstan has repeatedly backed pro-Azerbaijani resolutions on Karabakh at various international bodies.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” reports that the commander of Nagorno-Karabakh’s army, Lieutenant-General Movses Hakobian, has been appointed as deputy chief of the General Staff of Armenia’s Armed Forces. “Serzh Sarkisian has again started entrusting people from Karabakh with important positions,” writes the paper highly critical of the Armenian government. “That is to say that he pins his hopes only on his trusted allies. The authorities usually do such things ahead of important events. It is expected that Armenia will see soon a referendum on constitutional amendments aimed at prolonging Serzh Sarkisian’s rule. Besides, serious developments are also expected on the Karabakh conflict front.”
“Zhoghovurd” reports that Russian-Armenian billionaire Samvel Karapetian has again made clear through his Yerevan-based brother Karen that he has “no intention” to buy Armenia’s troubled electricity distribution network. Karen Karapetian is quoted as saying that the Electricity Networks of Armenia (ENA) operator is now so heavily indebted that few banks would agree to lend it substantial loans needed for sorting out its financial troubles.