(Saturday, February 24)
“Haykakan Zhamanak” writes on the approaching anniversary of the March 2008 post-election violence in Yerevan which left ten people dead and dozens of others injured. Nobody has since been prosecuted in connection with those deaths. “When Armenia’s leader shows an interest in the condemnation of the [Armenian] genocide by other nations so that more genocides are not committed is he also interested in punishing those responsible for the March 1 [violence] on the same grounds?” asks the paper. “There is no hope that the authorities will try to solve the March 1 crime.” It also sees no “public demand” for solving the case.
“Zhamanak” says that Armen Sarkissian’s “smooth” election by the parliament as Armenia’s new president is not a forgone conclusion. The paper says that it is not clear what kind of “agreements” he and Gagik Tsarukian reached at their recent unpublicized meeting.
“Without mutual concessions, for which the parties are not prepared now, the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict cannot be resolved,” Konstantin Zatulin, a Russian lawmaker and pundit, tells “168 Zham.” “Both sides need to make painful concessions. It has long been said that a settlement will not be possible unless Armenia cedes some districts and Azerbaijan recognizes Nagorno-Karabakh’s independence. Karabakh has exercised its right to self-determination and I’m not inclined to think that Karabakh can ever be a part of Azerbaijan … So Azerbaijan should drop that claim [to Karabakh.]” Zatulin also says that Russia is now doing its best to prevent another escalation of the conflict and sustain the military balance between the warring sides. He says large-scale Russian arms supplies to Azerbaijan were a “mistake” which Moscow corrected after the April 2016 fighting in Karabakh.