“Zhoghovurd” notes that official statements made after Monday’s meeting in Saint Petersburg of the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents made no direct or indirect mention of last April’s dramatic escalation of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The paper is skeptical about chances of progress in Armenian-Azerbaijani peace talks, saying that Azerbaijan toughened its position after the April fighting and is now “openly preparing for a new war.” It claims that the Armenian leadership has so far taken no “meaningful steps” in response.
“Zhamanak” quotes Russia’s ambassador to Armenia, Ivan Volynkin, as saying that there are now renewed efforts to relaunch a rail link between Russia and Armenia via Georgia. The paper notes that the remarks are “very noteworthy” because they were made in the wake of the Saint Petersburg talks. It speculates that Russia may be trying to entice Armenia to make more concessions to Azerbaijan with the promise to rebuild the “Abkhaz railway.” Moscow has repeatedly used this “carrot” in the past, it says.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” says that the Armenian discourse on the Karabakh conflict has been “slowly moving on to an irrational plane.” “Only one or two years ago, the problem was viewed in the framework of international law,” explains the paper. “There were discussions on which international norm could take precedence in our case: territorial integrity or self-determination? People took into account geopolitical developments, the situation in the region and so on. But now nobody pays attention to such ‘minutiae.’ Now we have a grudge against the world … A question may arise: is there a relatively acceptable solution to the Karabakh problem within the bounds of international law? Yes, there is. But it requires the existence of legitimate authorities in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Karabakh.”
Ara Zakarian, the lawyer for opposition leader Zhirayr Sefilian, who was arrested on Monday, tells “Haykakan Zhamanak” that the coup charges levelled against him are absolute “nonsense.” “This is simply a politically motivated case,” says Zakarian. He claims that law-enforcement authorities are using their secret “agents” to incriminate his client.