“Zhoghovurd” comments on Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian’s calls for the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group to “rein in” Azerbaijan not only with statements but also “concrete actions.” The paper says an Armenian Foreign Ministry statement on Nalbandian’s weekend meeting with the co-chairs did not specify what those actions should be. “We wonder how he sees the realization of his appeal,” it says. “At least, there is no legal document giving the co-chairs the right to impose sanctions on official Baku or Yerevan. The OSCE Minsk Group is not the UN Security Council and its co-chairs are only mediators. So such statements by Nalbandian may not be taken seriously by the international community or the co-chairs.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” suggests that “serious international pressure” on Baku is now essential for preventing another sharp escalation of the Karabakh conflict. It is only natural, the paper says, that Yerevan now expects “tough and explicit warnings” from the U.S., Russian and French mediators ahead of their visit to Baku. It says that renewed peace talks in the absence of mechanisms for preventing ceasefire violations in the conflict zone would only tempt the Azerbaijani leadership to provoke the kind of hostilities that broke out in April 2016.
William Lahue, the head of NATO’s regional Liaison Office in Tbilisi, tells “Aravot” that Armenia’s relations with Iran “do not matter at all” to the Western alliance. “You have a cooperation framework, you are a sovereign state, and you decide the circle of you relationships with other countries and allies,” he says. “If there is a decision to impose an embargo on Iran, it will also be a decision by sovereign states. And let me say this: states usually avoid embargoes and want to have them lifted. But it’s not NATO’s businesses. It’s up to member states and allies.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” comments on what it sees as a suspicious increase in food prices in Armenia that has been reported by the National Statistical Service (NSS) for a second consecutive month. The NSS said on Monday that they were up in May by more than 6 percent from the same period in 2016. The paper says that it is not yet clear which foodstuffs became more expensive in the past year. It claims that the NSS is “hiding” more detailed information about consumer prices in the country.