“Azg” reports that Azerbaijan and Georgia are considering an exchange of territories as part of their efforts to demarcate the Georgian-Azerbaijani border. Georgia is keen to win back a medieval Georgian monastery located on the Azerbaijani side of the border. The paper says the possible land swap is not necessarily irrelevant to Armenia. “It is not clear which territories Georgia will offer to get what it wants. Perhaps the territories to be offered to Azerbaijan will be of interest to Armenia for the simple reason that they could prolong or shorten the Armenian-Azerbaijani border.”
“Despite serious signals periodically coming from Russia, Armenia can remove the Javakheti factor from the arena of the Georgian-Russian confrontation,” writes “Hayots Ashkhar.” “And now with the start of work on the Kars-Akhalkalaki railway it is Georgia, rather than Armenia, that will be faced with a temptation to revive and use the Javakheti factor,” says the paper.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that police in Nagorno-Karabakh are holding “opinion polls” to gauge public reaction to Karabakh President Arkady Ghukasian’s possible third term in office. The paper claims that the authorities in Stepanakert are preparing the ground for Ghukasian’s participation in next year’s presidential election. It says they will allege that “Ghukasian wants to quit but the people are clinging to him and not letting him go because they no longer imagine their survival without the father and the locomotive of Artsakh democracy.”
Arman Babajanian, the jailed editor of “Zhamanak Yerevan,” analyzes in his paper consequences of the conflicts in Nagorno-Karabakh. Babajanian says the Karabakh conflict has thwarted Armenia’s development and benefited a small segment of privileged citizens. Armenia’s blockade by Turkey and Azerbaijan is compounded by Russian sanctions against Georgia. “This might seem cynical to some people. But this is the reality with which Yerevan and Baku should simultaneously reckon. And considering that time favors Baku, Yerevan’s time limit for drawing conclusions is coming to an end,” he says.
“168 Zham” says Russia is putting an “awful lot of pressure” on the Armenian authorities to wrest control over the first Armenian section of the pipeline from Iran from them. “The Armenian authorities are resisting, but they don’t have the resources to resist openly,” writes the paper. “They do don’t because they came to power thanks to the backing of Russia, rather than the [Armenian] people, and the fact that during elections they took note of Russian observers’ evaluations and [Vladimir] Putin’s congratulatory message, rather the people’s opinion.”