“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports on Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian’s meeting on Thursday with a group of Armenian parliamentarians which apparently focused on the latest developments in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The paper sees “very serious” reasons for the Armenian side to be worried about those developments, including the widely anticipated adoption by the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) of a pro-Azerbaijani resolution on Karabakh. “And it is still not clear where the upcoming developments could lead to,” it says.
“Zhoghovurd” suggests that the draft PACE resolution was the main focus of the meeting held behind the closed doors. The paper says critical statements on that resolution made by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and the U.S. co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, James Warlick, show that the mediating powers fear that it could have “very dangerous political consequences” for the Karabakh peace process. “Armenia’s Foreign Ministry and parliamentary delegation [at the PACE] are trying to understand what their countermeasures should be,” it writes. “Is there any chance to thwart the resolution’s passage, and, if not, what should they do in that case? There is already talk of the worst-case scenario: a boycott of the PACE.”
Nalbandian, meanwhile, assures “Aravot” that Russia is not pressuring Armenia to make unilateral concessions to Azerbaijan. “Generally speaking, I would advise people to rely on official statements when commenting on such sensitive issues,” he says. “The presidents of the countries co-chairing the Minsk Group have made five statements on the resolution of the Karabakh conflict. They have presented principles and elements which, I stress, make up a single inseparable document that should serve as a basis for the Karabakh conflict resolution.” He says that the media speculation about Armenian concessions allegedly sought by the Russians contradicts the essence of those statements.
Speaking to “Zhamanak,” Aghvan Vartanian, a leader of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun), does not deny that there is widespread public apathy in Armenia about the controversial constitutional changes put forward by President Serzh Sarkisian. But he defends Dashnaktsutyun’s strong support for the changes envisaging Armenia’s transition to the parliamentary system of government. “We are telling the clear difference between the existing situation and what would happen in the future,” he says. “We are saying that if the government system remains the same nothing will change in the country and things will even get worse.”