Monthly Review - Sunday, May 1, 2011 0:01 - 0 Comments

Digest of Armenian media for April 15-30



Armenia’s Prosecutor General turns to Russian counterpart over the death of Manvel Saribekyan [ARM]

The article says that Armenia’s Prosecutor General Aghvan Vardanyan sent a letter to his Russian counterpart Yuri Chaika in an attempt to receive information from Azerbaijan over the circumstances of death of Manvel Saribekyan. In the letter Hovsepyan said that he turned to his Azerbaijani counterpart but received no answer, and is therefore asking Russia to help over the issue.

Opening or closing Artsakh airport is out of co-chairs competencies – Galust Sahakyan [ARM]

According to the article MP of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia, Galust Sahakyan said that the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs are not competent to discuss the issue of opening or closing down the airport in Karabakh. “The Stepanakert Airport is being build and it will operate,” said Sahakyan, adding that there was no breakthrough in the co-chairs April 14 statement.

Co-chairs’ statement over Stepanakert Airport was addressed to Azerbaijan – ARF-D [ARM]

Senior Dashnaktsutyun official Artiusha Shahbazyan said, according to this news item, that the section about the airport in Karabakh mentioned in the April 14 statement by the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs was addressed to Azerbaijan. According to him “Azerbaijani and side is in such a situation that its constant threats have begun to be ridiculous”. Further, he expressed concern over the fact that when the threats eventually become senseless, Azerbaijan’s leadership may feel obliged to resort to some bigger threats, even military actions.



Stepanakert Airport operation delayed [ARM]

The article says that the Karabakh airport will not start operation on May 9 as it had been scheduled initially. The Spokesperson for the presidential office of Nagorno Karabakh David Babayan told RFEL that the there is no specific date as to when the airport will start operation. He also said that the issue has no political motives, but is rather technical. Further, he said that currently the works are underway to make the runway in line with international standards.


International mediators’ statement straitjacket for Azerbaijan – Armenian MP [ENG]

The Vice-Speaker of Armenia’ National Assembly Samvel Nikoyan said that the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs’ statement will “put Azerbaijan into a straitjacket” holding it back from war rhetoric. According to him, the co-chairs’ statement must prove a guideline for the parties, and that the co-chairs have until recently “confined themselves” to statements on incident on the line of contact. “Their latest statement, however, is a practical step showing a way of conducting a transparent investigation with both conflicting parties’ involvement,” Nikoyan said.


With ‘tactful’ wording the mediators seek to avoid tensions [ARM]

According to this article, political analyst Yervand Bozoyan said that the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs are trying to avoid any tension over the Karabakh conflict through “tactful” wording in their statements. “At this stage it’s not clear yet which problems have been discussed and which will be solved,” said he. Bozoyan also said that the reason the mediators are careful about their statements, is that they take into accounts the positions of all the parties. “I think the mediators have taken this circumstance into consideration and have tried to find a common average compromised version,” he explained.


Returning to the past is impossible – Karabakh president [ENG]

According to this article, the de facto President of Nagorno Karabakh Bako Sahakyan said when it comes to the settlement of the Karabakh conflict, “returning to the past is impossible and it is necessary only to think of the future.” Sahakyan also said that the settlement of the Karabakh conflict within the frameworks of international and legal guarantees first of all predetermines a peaceful solution.


Turkish minister sets Karabakh conflict settlement as precondition to Armenia-Turkey rapprochement [ENG]

The article says that Turkish Foreign Trade Minister Zafer Caglayan linked the Armenia-Turkey normalization to the settlement of the Karabakh conflict. “Turkey will never approve any rapprochement with Armenia – which currently occupies 20% of Azerbaijan’s territories, including Nagorno-Karabakh — before the ongoing issue between Azerbaijan and Armenia is resolved,” he said.


Russia’s policy on Karabakh [ARM]

In this article Armenian political analyst Igor Muradyan says that Russia has positioned itself as the only defender of Armenia’s interest when it comes to the settlement of the Karabakh conflict. According to him, for a long time Russia was implementing “a policy of waiting” over the Karabakh issue and would prefer the preservation of the status quo. However, it would from time to time come up with initiatives in the decision-making process mainly as a counterweight to the United States.

Sub-committee on Karabakh didn’t convene session [ARM]

The article says that the Sub-committee on Karabakh at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe did not convene a session during its spring session. The head of the Armenian delegation to PACE, David Harutyunyan, said that the Armenian delegation has not changed it position over the subcommittee and will not participate in its activities.

“We are not going to take part in a process that is irresponsible and fraught with unpredictable consequences, including new tensions,” said Harutyunyan.



Alexander Krilov: “The point is not who will become the main peacekeeper” [ARM]

According to this article, Alexander Margarov, a Russian political analyst said that the meetings among Armenian, Azerbaijani and Russian presidents that have recently become more frequent are aimed at moving the process of the settlement of the Karabakh conflict forward. “Moscow wants to somehow move the peaceful settlement forward so that both Armenia and Azerbaijan will make some concessions and find a mutually-acceptable solution to the problem,” said he. According to him, the point is not which of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs will be the first to leave the other two behind and become the main peace builder: there is a tripartite format, consisting of Russia, Armenia and Azerbaijan that does not raise questions neither in US, nor in France.


1997 best year for resolution of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict – opposition leader [ENG]

The articles says that former Armenian President Levon Ter-Petrosyan said in an interview with the BBC Russian that a settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was the most realistic in 1997, when the problem could be resolved by conceding some territories to Azerbaijan, concluding a truce, and creating an interim status for Nagorno-Karabakh to determine final status in the future. As to the reasons why it failed, he said that the Karabakh people considered it was not enough. “They showed a radical approach. They thought they could press even more and get more,” he added.

All conflicts in South Caucasus should be resolved peaceful-Georgian Defense Minister [ENG]

According to this news item Georgian Defense Minister Bacho Akhalaia at a meeting with his Armenian counterpart Seyran Ohanyan that the main task the countries face is to establish peace and security in the South Caucasus. It also says that the minister evaded a direct answer about Georgia’s position on Karabakh issue in case of resumption of military actions. “Our desire and hope is to maintain peace and stability in the region. All conflicts should be resolved peacefully,” he said.


It’s good that Karabakh conflict wasn’t settled in 1997 – MP [ENG]

Speaking about former Armenian President Levon Ter-Petrosyan’s interview with the BBC Russian in which he said that the most probable time for the settlement of the Karabakh conflict was 1997, Republican MP Hovhannes Sahakyan that it is good that the conflict was not resolved then. “When you are listening to Levon Ter-Petrosyan’s interview, you rejoice for a moment that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was not resolved in 1997,” Hovhannes Sahakyan said, that the fact that the Karabakhi people rejected the solution proposed in 1997 proves that there was something wrong with it.


Ter-Petrosyan’s opinion on Karabakh no Different than Madrid Principles: Heritage party MP [ENG]

According to this article, MP of the opposition Heritage Party Stepan Safaryan said that the statement on Karabakh peace process made by first president Levon Ter-Petrosyan in his interview with BBC Russian is no different than that which comprises the Madrid Principles which are being discussed today.  “I think, in 1997. To hand over some territories to Azerbaijan, to define a ceasefire, to create an intermediate state for Nagorno-Karabakh and then resolve the question of Nagorno-Karabakh’s status,” he said.

Georgia won’t cooperate with Armenia behind Azerbaijan’s back: expert [ENG]

According to this article, Georgian expert Dr. Giorgi Khutsishvili, speaking about Georgian Defense Minister Bacho Akhalaia’s visit to Armenia, said that Azerbaijan is Georgia’s strategic partner and therefore separate deals between Tbilisi and Yerevan behind Baku’s back are unlikely. “I think that simply an exchange of views took place during Bacho Akhalaia’s visit to Armenia. It’s unlikely that Georgia will assist with arms to Armenia in the event of renewed hostilities between Azerbaijan and Armenia,” he said.


BBC Russian prepares report on Karabakh [ENG]

The article says that the BBC Russian has prepared a report on the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. The authors of the report, which is available in both video and text formats, say that despite the 1994 ceasefire signed between Armenia and Azerbaijan, neither of the countries has achieved a full peace. “The border between Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan remains one of the world’s most fortified borders,” the report comments.



Romania backs Azerbaijan over Karabakh issue [ARM]

According to this article Romanian President Traian Basesku said in an interview that his country’s position over the Nagorno-Karabakh has not changed and that there is no factor that would make Romania change it. “Our position is that the territorial integrity of any country cannot be breached. Conflicts must be resolved within the norms of international law and UN resolutions. Any attempt to breach the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan or any other country must be regarded as a violation of the international law,” said he. The article further says that Armenian Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharyan commented on this statement, saying that he “would not believe that a leader of a EU country could make such a biased and unconstructive statement.”


Azerbaijan committed to non-constrictive stance on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict-expert [ENG]

The article says that political analyst Yervand Bozoyan said that Azerbaijan’s recent military exercises with combat aircrafts and helicopters once again proved that Baku intends to use force. “This demonstration of force showed that Azerbaijan remains committed to its non-constructive stance on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” he said.  Commenting on the question whether there is a connection between the maneuvers and statements by the Azerbaijani side to shoot down aircrafts heading to Stepanakert airport, Bozoyan stressed that these two facts are not linked directly. “There is no direct connection, but it manifests Azerbaijan’s non-constructive stance on Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” he said.

Territorial concessions not key to resolution of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict [ENG]

Former Foreign Minister of the unrecognized Republic of Nagorno Karabakh Arman Melikyan said that territorial concessions are not a key to resolution of the Karabakh conflict. Melikyan comment on a statement by former Armenian President Levon Ter-Petrosyan’s who said that Karabakh conflict might have been settled in 1997 by means of some territorial concessions in exchange for interim and later final status of Nagorno-Karabakh. “Territorial concessions would have only ousted Russia from the negotiation process and changed the geopolitical situation in the region, which was not at all in the interests of landlocked Armenia,” Melikyan said.


Why is British media interested in Karabakh? [ENG]

According to this article, political analyst Hrant Melik Shahnazaryan said that the British media’s recent interest in the Nagorno Karabakh conflict might be explained by the need to propose new plans and mechanisms for the settlement of the conflict.  “The stalemate over Karabakh requires new solutions and approaches. Serious media outlets address such problems upon facing the need to propose a mechanism or a political plan,” he said, speaking about the BBC’s plans to shoot a film about the Karabakh conflict.  He also noted that the foreign media might also pursue financial interests in their propaganda. “But that’s more characteristic to the Russian media, rather than BBC,” he said.

Karabakh people should have the right to join negotiation process – Baroness Cox [ENG]

According to this news item, UK MP Caroline Cox said the people of Nagorno Karabakh should have the right to take part in the current negotiation process over the conflict settlement. She also said the delegation of British MPs which was on a three-day visit to Armenia was also in Nagorno Karabakh and met with the country’s president and National Assembly speaker. She told reporters that they are aware of the progress in the current talks over the Karabakh conflict settlement and had learned during their visit that the “Armenians made the most significant concessions in the framework of the Minsk Group process”.


Situation over NK is very different from what Levon Ter-Petrosyan says – Kiro Manoyan [ARM]

Speaking about the interview by former Armenian President Levon Ter-Petrosyan in which he said that the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict could have been resolved in 1997 were not the “maximalistic demands” by the Karabakhi people, senior Dashnaktsutyun party official Kiro Manoyan said that the situation today is different. Manoyan said that during that time an attempt was being made to settle the issue on a “phasal” basis, while today there are “packages” under discussion. “This is an important difference. The logic of today’s talks is that if there is no agreement over the packages, there is no agreement at all,” said Manoyan.


War is the most valid option for resolving Karabakh conflict, believes expert [ENG]

According to this article, Russian expert on post-Soviet states Vitaly Tretyakov, said that the Karabakh conflict is well known in the world and is in the focus of interest for several regional and world powers which is why “Azerbaijan is not able to launch military operations if it doesn’t receive approval and support. According to him, the most unpleasant but historically valid option to resolving this issue is war. “It’s cynical, cruel, disgusting, but it is a solution, after which for a few years, if not forever, will cease to be as such. But even this cynical approach to date is unrealistic.


Neither NATO nor EU to replace OSCE in Karabakh peace process – European official [ENG]

The head of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly Petros Efthymiou said that neither NATO nor EU can replace OSCE while dealing with relations between Armenia, Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh. According to him not a single institution has such “in-depth knowledge of the region and ties with people as OSCE does.” He also stressed OSCE’s possibilities while resolving international conflicts.


Karabakh settlement process discussed in Moscow [ENG]

This article says that the Armenian, Russian and Azerbaijani foreign ministers Edward Nalbandyan, Sergey Lavrov and Elmar Mammadyarov held a working meeting in Moscow and discussed the current stage of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict settlement. It also says that a press release issued by Armenia’s Foreign Ministry did not elaborate as to what exactly the diplomats discussed.


Peace treaty alone won’t solve Karabakh conflict – Azeri FM [ENG]

According to this news item, Azerbaijani foreign minister Elmar Mammadyarov said in an interview with the Moscow News newspaper that a peace treaty for the Karabakh conflict will not be the end but rather “a light at the end of the tunnel”. He also called for more efforts for the settlement of the conflict. “The efforts should be tripled rather than doubled. The decision on Karabakh is very complex. It is connected with many factors. Even if we prepare a peace treaty, this would not be the end yet. It will only be a light at the end of the tunnel,” he explained.


Aliyev, Kaidanow discuss Karabakh peace process [ENG]

According to this article, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev received US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Tina Kaidanow. The sides exchanged views on Azerbaijan-US bilateral relations, the current stage of Karabakh peace process and prospects for the conflict resolution, as well as regional affairs. It also says that earlier Tina Kaidanow discussed Karabakh conflict settlement with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov.


No practice for unrecognized republic to operate airports [ARM]

The head of the international agreements department at Armenia’s Constitutional Court Vladimir Vardanyan said that Karabakh’s airport can organize flights only to and fro Yerevan as it is an unrecognized republic. According to him, as soon as the Stepanakert Airport operates, Azerbaijan will submit a complaint to the International Civil Aviation and will demand to launch proceeds against Armenia. Vardanyan said that Georgia did the same when the Sukhumi Airport started to operate.


Military operations in Karabakh conflict zone unlikely, status quo to remain-Russian professor [ENG]

According to this article, Valeri Achkasov, a professor at St. Petersburg State University said at a conference in Yerevan that the status quo in Nagorno-Karabakh will be preserved and the conflict will remain frozen for a long time. “Certain aggravation in Karabakh peace process is possible from time to time. However, large-scale military operations are unlikely to resume. The Karabakh conflict cannot be resolved by military means,” he stated.


Baku’s hope is Medvedev [ENG]

The article says that Armenian sociologist Aharon Adibekyan said that the fact that the Karabakh conflict is still unresolved negatively affects the whole region. He also said that “Azerbaijan’s rhetoric adds more tension” to the current situation. Further, Adibekyan said that the states involved in the settlement of the conflict will not allow the conflict to be resolved based on the principle of territorial integrity. In this context, according to him, Azerbaijan’s hope is Russia’s President Dmitry Medvedev who may take Azerbaijan’s strategic importance to Russia into account while making any decisions on Karabakh.


Armenian FM discusses current stage of Karabakh peace process with US official [ENG]

According to this article, Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandyan received on Thursday U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Tina Kaidanow and discussed a wide range of regional and international issues, including the current stage of Nagorno-Karabakh peace process. Kaidanow stressed that U.S. will continue cooperation with Armenia aimed at ensuring peace in the region, encouraging economic development, and implementation of reforms.


Armed confrontation not to resolve Karabakh conflict – EU commissioner [ENG]

According to this article, EU Commissioner for Enlargements and Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fule said that “an armed confrontation cannot pave the way for settling the conflict in Nagorno Karabakh”. Speaking at a news conference in Yerevan Fule said that the neighborhood cannot be safe unless protracted conflicts find a peaceful solution under the principles of international law. He also said that the meetings between parties demonstrate a progress and stressed the importance of “reflecting them in rhetoric.”


Armenian FM hopes for OSCE’s assistance in reducing frontline incidents [ENG]

The article says that Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandyan condemned “regular incidents in the contact line between armed forces of Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan” after an Armenian soldier was killed on the line of contact. Speaking at a press conference he said that “such provocations do not advance the peace process”. He also recalled that during Sochi meeting by Armenian, Azerbaijani and Russian presidents the sides agreed to investigate the incidents in the frontline with assistance of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs and special representative of the OSCE Chairperson-in-Office. Further, he said that creation of relevant mechanisms will become a key tool to prevent incidents and provocations and will positively affect the process which inspires hope for achieving peaceful resolution.


Karabakh talks see progress after Sochi meeting, Bryza [ENG]

US Ambassador to Azerbaijan Mathew Bryza said that the settlement process of the Karabakh conflict is seeing progress since the trilateral meeting in Sochi this April. Speaking to journalists in Azerbaijan on Friday, Bryza said that Armenia’s and Azerbaijan’s foreign ministers are working on the issue. “The foreign ministers of the two conflicting parties are seriously working on the issue. And I think that the presidents will register shifts in the settlement of the conflict step by step,” Bryza added.

Armenia to ‘take punitive actions’ on Line of Contact [ENG]

The article says that according to some unconfirmed reports Armenia’s top military brass has decided to take measures across the Line of Contact with Azerbaijan to prevent “acts of sabotage”. Speaking to on condition of anonymity, the source said Armenia’s Defense Ministry is planning “large-scale punitive” actions on the Line of Contact that are aimed at causing three times as much damage to Azerbaijani side” in an attempt to take revenge for the killing of three Armenian conscripts during the week.


Statement by Armenia’s Foreign Minister over killing of conscripts [ARM]

According to this news piece, Armenia’s Foreign Ministry released a statement over the killing of two Armenian conscripts – reportedly by Azeri snipers – and accused Azerbaijan by fueling tension into the peace talks. “During the past two days three soldiers were killed by Azerbaijani snipers on the line of contact between Nagorno-Karabakh and Azerbaijan. The situation created due to Azerbaijan’s adventurous behavior is sparking additional tension and affecting negatively the negotiation process. The statement also said that “Azerbaijan shows that it can ignore the calls by different international boards and countries on consolidation of ceasefire, withdrawal of snipers, strengthening of confidence and resolution of problems by peaceful means”.


Time for OSCE to indicate responsible for ruining Karabakh peace process – MP [ENG]

This article says that Aram Safaryan of Prosperous Armenia party said that “it is time for the OSCE Minsk Group to indicate those responsible for ruining the Karabakh peace process”. Safaryan stressed that “Azerbaijan used time given to the sides to review their positions after the OSCE summit in Astana to toughen its approaches”. “Non-constructive path chosen by Azerbaijan leads to nowhere – to breakdown of talks. The OSCE Minsk Group should indicate it clearly,” he said.

World community should impose sanctions against Azerbaijan – Armenian MP [ENG]

According to this article, Armenian MP Hrayr Karapetyan said that Armenia “should give an adequate response to Azerbaijani provocations on the contact line” as “only adequate response of the Armenian side can repress further provocations of Azerbaijan. He stressed that international community should toughen its stance on Azerbaijan up to imposing sanctions. “World community’s attitude has been limited to recommendations so far. However, time shows recommendations have no impact on Baku although are signed by Azerbaijani leadership,” he said.

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