“Zhoghovurd” quotes the Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, as stressing the importance of a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. In an apparent effort to allay Armenian media concerns over the latest Russian push for a Karabakh peace, Zakharova said on Thursday that both conflicting sides are informed about the international mediators’ latest initiatives. Her remarks are also construed by the paper as a warning to the Armenian leadership to the effect that it must not back away from understandings reached with Baku and Moscow.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” says that even during the Turkish-Armenian rapprochement of 2008-2009 it was evident that Turkey will not open its border with Armenia until the Karabakh dispute is resolved. It was also clear, the paper says, that Russia will thwart Armenia’s European integration. “Turkish-Armenian relations only worsened further, while Russia sold Azerbaijan weapons worth several billion dollars, undermining the relative military balance between the two sides,” it says.
“Hraparak” reports that Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko voiced full support for Azerbaijan’s position on the Karabakh issue during a visit to Baku on Thursday. The paper says Armenia should react to that “philosophically” because it voted against a pro-Ukrainian resolution at the United Nations General Assembly in 2014. “One should note that this statement [by Poroshenko] did not make Azerbaijan’s president euphoric and he said nothing about the issues of Crimea and Donbass very important to Ukraine,” it goes on. “As much as it is important and good [for Azerbaijan] to maintain relations with Ukraine, Russia’s attitude is equally and perhaps even more important. Mindful of that, [Ilham] Aliyev avoided angering the Russian Empire pulling the strings in the region.” Armenia’s leadership should have been just as “flexible,” concludes the paper.
Citing unnamed government sources in Yerevan, “Haykakan Zhamanak” says that Russia’s Gazprom monopoly is unhappy with additional supplies of Iranian natural gas that have been requested by the Armenian government because of a temporary shutdown of a Georgian pipeline transporting Russian gas to Armenia. The paper claims that this is “a matter of principle” for the Russians. “Russia has for years strived to keep Armenia away from Iranian gas and deepen Armenia’s dependence on Russian gas,” it says, adding that the additional gas imports from Iran could “substantially ease” that dependence.