(Saturday, April 23)
“Zhoghovurd” dismisses “jubilant” statements on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict made by Armenian officials and pro-government politicians after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s April 22 visit to Yerevan. In particular, they point to Lavrov’s confirmation that President Serzh Sarkisian did not reject a version of the Basic Principles of the conflict’s resolution that was discussed at an Armenian-Azerbaijani summit held in Kazan, Russia in 2011. The paper says that the framework peace accord drafted by the U.S., Russian and French mediators is not beneficial for the Armenian side even if it was rejected by Azerbaijan.
“Hraparak” notes that many in Armenia were encouraged by Lavrov’s remark that the 1994 ceasefire agreement that stopped the war in Karabakh is “open-ended.” “Russia will probably manage to prevent another flare-up of violence,” predicts the paper. “But that period [of calm] will be used by the conflicting parties as an opportunity to prevail in a more fierce arms race. That will give Russia a [new] lever to manage the situation.”
“168 Zham” claims that Moscow is interested in dealing with a weak Armenia that is in constant need of Russian protection. The paper says that the April 2-5 fighting in Karabakh made many Armenians realize this and see the dire consequences of Russia’s arms sales to Azerbaijan.
“Hayots Ashkhar” sees a “moment of truth” in Armenia’s relationship with Russia. “In the last few days, the Armenian side has managed to confront on the diplomatic front the most important post-war challenge: Azerbaijan’s ambition to hastily sit at the negotiation table dictate conditions immediately after artillery salvos … and some Russian circles’ penchant for Eurasian integration,” writes the paper. It says that the West is also resisting Russian attempts to clinch more Armenian concessions to Baku.