“Zhamanak” reports that Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev described Russia as a “strategic partner” and touted Azerbaijan’s large-scale arms deals with Moscow during an official visit to Germany earlier this week. This is construed by the paper as a sign that Baku does not intend to bolster the ceasefire regime in the Karabakh conflict zone. It alleges that Moscow only encourages this “military diplomacy.”
Artak Zakarian, the chairman of the Armenian parliament committee on foreign relations,tells “Haykakan Zhamanak” that the U.S., Russian and French mediators will present “concrete proposals” on strengthening the ceasefire regime at the next meeting of Armenia’s and Azerbaijan’s presidents. “Real guarantees are needed first and foremost for maintaining the ceasefire,” says Zakarian.
“Zhoghovurd” says that Nikolay Bordyuzha, the secretary general of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), declined to comment on key details of a Russian-Armenian agreement to deepen their joint air-defense system when he spoke to journalists in Yerevan on Wednesday. The paper adds its voice to concerns about the agreement’s implications for Armenia’s independence and Karabakh’s security. “By putting our air defenses under full Russian control we automatically also give Russia the functions of a guarantor of Artsakh’s independence,” it claims. “And hardly anyone now has any illusions about what kind of a guarantor Russia can be after the April war [in Karabakh.]”
“That agreement has a solely political component,” speculates “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun.” “Our strategic ally is taking yet another step to block European expansion towards Armenia, and rightly so. This is what Russia’s national interests require. But what about Armenia’s interests? We need a [better] government to formulate this.”