In an interview with “Aravot,” Nagorno-Karabakh leader Arkady Ghukasian comments on his tense relationship with the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun). “I haven’t burned any bridges,” he says. “They burned them. I didn’t declare war on anyone, and I if they thought I myself had to take some steps, I think the opposite. It is they who made all the statements escalating the situation and I expected them to be disavowed.”
“Dashnaktsutyun is familiar with both victory and defeat and either thing must be accepted with dignity,” a member of the party’s worldwide governing Bureau, Vahan Hovannisian, tells “Hayots Ashkhar.” “I don’t see any tragedy here. As for why things turned out this way, we will discuss the issue after hearing explanations from the [party’s] Artsakh Central Committee. But that is already an internal party affair that has nothing to do with the formation of NKR authorities.”
Asked about the party’s position on the Karabakh government after the election, Hovannisian says the Bureau remains “in the same trenches” with Ghukasian. He says it is up to Dashnaktsutyun’s Karabakh chapter to position itself against the authorities in Stepanakert.
Zardusht Alizade, an Azerbaijani opposition politician, tells “Aravot” that the Karabakh Armenians would be wrong to think that they can get greater international recognition by “imitating democratic elections.” “Sooner or later democracy will reach both Azerbaijan and Armenia,” he says. “In that case, democratic Azerbaijan and Armenia will manage to resolve that problem. Of course, by taking into account the interests of the Karabakh Armenians.”
“To present Karabakh as a democracy and Azerbaijan as an autocracy is not quite correct,” Alizade adds. “There are democratic forces both in Karabakh and Azerbaijan. Both here and there as well as in Armenia it is the security structures and policemen that hold sway.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” quotes Gurgen Arsenian, the leader of the United Labor Party, as saying that even perfect constitutional amendments stand no chances of being backed by most Armenians at the planned referendum. Arsenian cites a lack of “broad-based public consensus.” “In fact, there is no desire for such mutual agreement because those people did some work for 11 months, went to Venice and were forced there to change their draft. As a result, it turned out that as a society we are unable to do anything unless our ears are pulled from abroad.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” comments that Armenia has moved to upgrade its cooperation with NATO by agreeing an “individual partnership” plan with the U.S.-led alliance. “We sent a very serious message by saying that we are ready to consult with NATO on any issue relating to foreign policy and security,” officials at the Armenian Foreign Ministry are quoted as telling the paper.