“Zhamanak” says that very little is known about the content and results of Sunday’s meeting in Sochi of the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents, which was mediated by Russia’s Vladimir Putin. The paper says there are only signs that the parties agreed to consider working out a mechanism for jointly investigation truce violations around Karabakh and on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. “We can say for certain that such a mechanism will not be developed,” it forecasts, arguing that there were no official statements in Sochi to the effect that Serzh Sarkisian and Ilham Aliyev agreed to bolster the ceasefire regime. “Still, a decrease in tensions is very likely because this has to do with Putin’s reputation,” concludes “Zhamanak.”
“Zhoghovurd” claims the Sochi meeting gave more weight to the theory that Moscow had a hand in the latest escalation of fighting in the Karabakh conflict zone. “This time Putin managed to organize a meeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents after the West’s several failed attempts [to do the same,]” writes the paper. “After losing in the Ukraine crisis and being isolated by the West Russia has thus demonstrated that it is still a factor, a peacemaking one, and that the South Caucasus is under its direct influence. After that meeting the border is again calm and violations of the ceasefire regime are not continuing with the same intensity. In other words, the recent incidents were needed by Russia, which supplies weapons to both conflicting sides, to host a meeting and portray itself as a peacemaker to the international community.”
“Despite quite pacifist statements made by Ilham Aliyev, it is evident that Azerbaijani provocations on Armenia’s and Artsakh’s borders will continue with a varying intensity,” writes “Aravot.” “Even if Aliyev had sworn [in Sochi] that there will be no more shooting and incursions from their side nobody would have believed him. Especially given that the Azerbaijani side’s idea of peace and mutual concessions is quite peculiar. Therefore, we must remain prepared for a repeat of the fierce fighting of early August at any moment.”
“It doesn’t mean that we should forget about all other issue,” adds “Aravot.” “Israel has lived in such conditions for decades. But that has not precluded the existence of democratic institutions and the development of the economy, culture and tourism in that country.” Therefore, concludes the paper, nobody should use the permanent threat of war to berate Armenian opposition groups challenging the government with street protests or otherwise.
“Hraparak” quotes a Russian commentator, Denis Dvornikov, as saying that Ilham Aliyev “has become a hostage to his own bellicose rhetoric and political ideology.” “Armenophobia is a genie that can hurt Aliyev,” he says.