The OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs have again visited the region, and at a time when on the one hand there are renewed efforts to revive the Nagorno-Karabakh negotiating process, while on the other hand there are signs that other conflicts in the region could flare up anew, "Hayots Askharh" writes. The paper believes that currently there is no foreign power which is strong enough to cut the Gordian knot of South Caucasus conflicts singlehanded. That is why the current visit of OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs is not the last attempt to make the conflicting sides see reason. On the contrary, the co-chairs want to study the full range of different approaches and to prepare more serious steps, the paper concludes. The co-chairs have adopted a new tactic. They met with all influential political parties and well-known public figures in Armenia. In this way, the three countries represented in the OSCE Minsk Group chairmanship, particularly the United States, were able to assess at first hand the prevailing mood in the country.
Russia is barely maintaining its influence in the CIS countries, "Aravot" writes. Aware that the West is increasingly becoming more interested in them, the former Soviet republics have seized the opportunity and have introduced a new element into their foreign policy: blackmailing Russia. "'If you don't want to have warm relations with us, then we'll go to Americans,' they say." Two countries in our region, Azerbaijan and especially Georgia, are applying the same tactics. But the Armenian authorities didn't even try to hint that they could ever think of rebelling and switching to the Western sphere of influence, "Aravot" writes. We are moving exclusively according to the policy dictated by Moscow, totally disregarding the situation on the ground. It doesn't mean that we don't have to maintain friendly relations with Russia. But we have to make them understand that Russia is not the center of the world, "Aravot" concludes.
"European values or Asian bazaar? that is the dilemma facing Armenia," "Aravot" writes. If we continue this Asian bazaar then sooner or later we will lose our statehood. It is in Moscow's interest for us to stick with this Asian Bazaar, when contractual relations were replaced by the crony relations of brotherhood. Russia is not interested in having an independent ally. It wants a country with weak self-esteem, which is in competition with all its neighbors. Not only the Armenian government but also the psychology of majority of Armenians is leading us in that direction, "Aravot" concludes.