“Zhamanak” blames the Kremlin for Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s latest bellicose statements on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The paper claims that the Russian occupation of Crimea is giving Baku “legitimate grounds” for use of force against the Armenian side. “Aliyev has started doing that on the diplomatic front,” it says. “The Crimean issue is worrisome to Armenia primarily from this standpoint as there has emerged a precedent of a forcible solution to a territorial dispute.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” says that by refusing to recognize the referendum in Crimea the West is denying peoples around the world the right to self-determination. The paper says that what Russia has done in Crimea was to help the local population exercise that right. Moscow expected its ex-Soviet allies, including Armenia, to approve of its actions “at least orally.” “So this is not a dispute between authoritarian and democratic regimes,” writes the pro-presidential daily. Armenia was therefore right to voice such endorsement, it says, arguing that the principle of self-determination has been at the heart of Armenian foreign policy.
“In making decisions critical for Armenia, Serzh Sarkisian does not consult with influential Armenian political forces and even his own political party,” “Zhoghovurd” writes in connection with Yerevan’s de facto recognition of Crimea’s secession. The paper says that Sarkisian single-handedly decided to make Armenia part of the Russian-led Customs Union and praise the Crimean vote. “The absence of an opposition capable of more or less countering Sarkisian’s decisions is as dangerous as Sarkisian’s recent practice of not even seemingly reckoning with those forces.” It notes that the Armenian president used to initiate consultations with various parties on key issues facing the country. His 2008-2010 policy of rapprochement with Turkey was one such issue. “Zhoghovurd” goes on to describe Sarkisian’s statement on Crimea as “another surrender” to Russian President Vladimir Putin.