“Azg” says that the political life in Armenia, which has come to a standstill due to the start of the summer holiday season, will inevitably heat up again in September. The paper also anticipates an increased risk of the escalation of tensions on the Nagorno-Karabakh frontlines ahead of high-level Armenian-Azerbaijani peace talks planned for this autumn. “The constant tensions on the Line of Contact will be an additional factor behind a high political temperature,” it says.
Vitali Balasanian, a retired army general currently holding a senior security position in Karabakh, tells “Aravot” that the Karabakh military has significantly fortified its frontline positions since the April 2016 war with Azerbaijan. “It would be wrong to say that nothing was done until 2016,” he says. “We saw what types of weapons the enemy used in 2016 and reorganized and restructured our fortifying works accordingly. We introduced new elements in the task of defense fortification. We installed night-vision devices practically along the entire frontline.”
Asked whether there is now a smaller element of surprise in Azerbaijan’s military operations, Balasanian says: “One must never rule out the element of surprise and think that they won’t attack. Azerbaijan will always keep things tense on the border because Azerbaijan has an internal problem. The situation in Azerbaijan is now potentially explosive.”
“The first half of this year was good for Armenia’s economy and fiscal sector in terms of both economic growth and budgetary revenue,” writes “Hayots Ashkhar.” “[Economic] trends are positive.” The paper suggests that that first-half economic growth was well above a full-year target of 3.2 percent set by the Armenian government. “The situation was especially favorable in the external [trade] sector, an important factor for Armenia,” it adds, pointing, among other things, to signs of economic recovery in Russia, Armenia’s number one trading partner.