(Saturday, September 26)
“Haykakan Zhamanak” sees a “dramatic change” in the situation in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone, pointing to intensifying ceasefire violations. “Villages that were not shot at for 22 years are now coming under fire, and we now have casualties not only among soldiers but also civilians,” explains the paper. It says that it is still not clear what the Armenian leadership plans to do about this changing reality in the short and long runs.
“Who is to blame for the fact that the Minsk Group co-chairs are unable to ascertain what is going on [in the conflict zone?]” asks “168 Zham.” “Who should inform the Minsk Group and relevant structures of the countries representing it about the latest Azerbaijani provocations? First and foremost, the Foreign Ministry of Armenia, which contented itself with a general statement last night. Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian likewise contented himself with general condemnations and concerns at the meeting with the co-chairs [in New York.] The problem is not the ministry’s or Nalbandian’s professionalism. It runs much deeper, having to do with the root cause of Armenia’s foreign policy or, more precisely, its Russification.” The paper alleges that Azerbaijan secured Russia’s go-ahead before again heightening tension on the Karabakh “line of contact” and the Armenian-Azerbaijani border last week.
“Zhoghovurd” complains that Armenia is not acting on its leaders’ threat to “disproportionately” retaliate against Azerbaijani ceasefire violations. “If the reason for that is fear of harsh criticism from the OSCE mediators, then yesterday’s statement should eliminate it. If even after that the Armenian side does not retaliate against Azerbaijan’s increasingly impudent aggression then that will be a clear admission of its weakness.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” says that the international community cannot avoid blaming Baku for a fresh escalation of fighting this time around. The paper says that failure to do so could lead to a full-scale Armenian-Azerbaijani war.