“Zhamanak” says that the new U.S. co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, Andrew Schofer, is about to make his first trip to Armenia and Azerbaijan together with his opposite numbers from Russia and France. The paper cites a “noteworthy” statement on this fact issued by the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan. “The start of the American co-chair’s mission is certainly important given what the previous co-chair, [Richard] Hoagland, said just a few weeks before leaving the position. He said that the U.S. will step up its policy towards the Karabakh problem.”
“Zhoghovurd” quotes a prominent Russian political analyst, Sergey Markedonov, as saying that the Karabakh conflict is the only ethnic or territorial dispute in the former Soviet Union where Russia and the West are really committed to working together. “Only the Karabakh conflict has not been regarded by the West and Russian as being part of their geopolitical confrontation,” Markedonov wrote in his latest article. The paper points out that Hoagland similarly stated this summer that Moscow and Washington are closely cooperating in their pursuit of a Karabakh settlement. “So based on these messages, one can presume that the superpowers are trying, at least publicly, to achieve the conflict’s resolution,” it says.
Armen Ashotian, the chairman of the Armenian parliament committee on foreign relations, tells “Haykakan Zhamanak” that Yerevan will not even consider recognizing Kurdistan’s and Catalonia’s secession from Iraq and Spain respectively before the two regions formally declare their independence. “The issue of recognizing or not recognizing them is only the tip of the iceberg,” he says. “There are more serious issues in both cases.” In particular, Ashotian goes on, developments in Kurdistan will have important implications for the broader region and a long-term impact on Armenia.
“Aravot” claims in this regard that many Armenians themselves do not want their country to be independent. The paper says they would not mind being governed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.