War is said to again be possible in the Transcaucasia

Agency WPS
April 5, 2004, Monday


As far back as March 27, Gegam Arutyunyan, former deputy defense
minister of Armenia, now member of the political council of the
Republic oppositional party, urged the opposition to carry out a
“democratic revolution.” On April 1, he was supported by the National
Unity party and the Justice bloc. The unified opposition informed the
public of launching its struggle for shifting the power in the
country and even announced the specified terms of the protests –
April 5 to 13.

Speaking at the parliament, Viktor Dallakyan, a leader of the Justice
bloc, said: “Armenia found itself in a deep crisis, dismissal of
President Robert Kocharyan being the only way out.” He told the
deputies that, as reported by the unified opposition headquarters,
Armenian leaders are getting ready for the upcoming actions of
protest and intends to use the army against the demonstration. Serzh
Sarkisyan, defense minister and secretary of the National Security
Council said the situation in the republic is in a strain. However,
(…) he flatly denied the rumors saying that the Defense Ministry is
forming detachments to suppress the wave of opposition. (…)

Meanwhile, Mikael Danielyan, chairman of the Helsinki Association of
Armenia is sure that “under conditions of the current political
crisis, for Kocharyan war remains the only method to pacify the
opposition.” He doesn’t rule out that an armed conflict may arise
between Azerbaijan and Armenia because of Nagorny Karabakh already in
April. Danielyan says this could be the reason why military exercises
are conducted in Armenia now. Azerbaijani Defense Minister Safar
Aliyev doesn’t rule out that an armed conflict may be resumed between
Armenia and Azerbaijan. He said on March 31 that “a war against
Armenia might occur any day now.”

Source: Novye Izvestia, April 2, 2004, p. 3

Translated by Andrei Ryabochkin