“Zhamanak” reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin has had telephone conversations with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian and Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev following their March 29 meeting in Vienna. The Russian Foreign Ministry said after those phone calls that Moscow is ready to help the two leaders implement agreements reached by them in the Austrian capital. The paper suggests that Aliyev and Pashinian may have only agreed to continue to observe the ceasefire and that the Russians will help the warring sides prevent major truce violations.
Lragir.am says that after the Vienna summit Yerevan and Baku “reaffirmed their opposite approaches” to the Karabakh settlement. “Azerbaijan maintains that it will restore its territorial integrity and refuses to discuss [Karabakh’s] status, while the Armenian side says that Artsakh’s status and security are the key issues of a settlement,” explains the publication. “The negotiating process has returned to a period of hiatus.” It notes Putin’s phone calls with Aliyev and Pashinian, saying that the leaders of the two other mediating powers, the United States and France, did not personally react to the latest Armenian-Azerbaijani summit. The publication too believes that Moscow is most probably keen to bolster the ceasefire regime in the conflict zone.
“Zhoghovurd” comments on Pashinian’s calls for “very harsh” government action against individuals who he said “manipulate public opinion” through mass and social media. The paper says that the best way to combat fake news is to increase people’s “media literacy.” “Especially in a country which is in a state of war and whose citizens can be targets of various propaganda and sabotage ploys and other criminal practices,” it says. “This is what the National Security Service (NSS) should focus its resources on because it is obliged to guarantee not only the physical but also information security of citizens.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” voices strong support for Pashinian’s declared campaign against “fake news,” saying that they pose a threat to national security. The paper edited by Pashinian’s wife, Anna Hakobian, says that false reports about Armenian-Azerbaijani peace talks could negatively affect the combat readiness of Armenia’s armed forces. It says the authorities should also crack down on those who falsely predict an imminent depreciation of the national currency.