Artsakh in Armenian Press

Azat Artsakh – Republic of Nagorno Karabakh (NKR)
May 7, 2004


The publications on Artsakh in the press of Armenia of the current
week were more interesting and various than last week. Particularly,
at the beginning of the week the newspapers were full of analytical
articles and information on the Karabakh problem, and the publications
of Thursday mainly referred to the economy. The press of the week
closes with materials on the meeting of Aliev and Kocharian in Warsaw
on April 28. AGAIN WAR? The newspaper “Azg”, making a reference to the
agency “Turan” in the article headlined “No Compromises on
Azerbaijan’s Part” (27.04.04) informs that on Saturday the co-chairman
of the Minsk Group Steven Mann met in Baku with the defence minister
of Azerbaijan Safar Abiev and talked about the Karabakh problem.
Presenting the position of the USA in reference to Karabakh, Mann said
that the parties must make mutually acceptable compromises. However,
in answer Abiev said that Azerbaijan would make no concessions.
Moreover, Azerbaijan characterized Armenia as a country-aggressor and
added that it should be punished. Bringing the example of Yugoslavia
and Iraq, where the military interference was used, according to the
newspaper, Abiev asked why not to do the same with Armenia. And if add
the to this brazen question of the Azerbaijani defence minister the
statement of Aliev Jr. that he does not hurry in the question of
Karabakh, only one conclusion may be made that Azerbaijan is preparing
for a new war. A similar conclusion was made by the weekly newspaper
“Avangard” in the article “Probability of Both Positive and Negative
Turnarounds Increases” (28.04.04). Following attentively the policy of
the Azerbaijani authorities in reference to the settlement of the
problem the author of the article thinks that the situation got
complicated after the announcement of Aliev to start everything from
the zero point. “It seems more probable that the wish of Aliev to
start everything from the zero point is his own “genial” idea pursuing
one aim – to bury finally the principles of Key West unacceptable for
Azerbaijan, and on the other hand, to win time until the opening of
the Baku-Geihan pipeline allowing to improve greatly the financial and
economic situation of the country, arm and strengthen the army and
solve the Karabakh problem through war.” And as to the probability of
a positive turnaround, mentioning another announcement of Ilham Aliev
about his willingness to recognize the independence of the Turkish
Republic of North Cyprus, the author of the article mentions, “To
recognize the independence of the illegitimate state which was not
recognized by any country means directly accepting the right of the
nations for self-determination.” There is an impression that
Azerbaijan sacrifices its own interests for the interests of Turkey.
In the case of such developments “Azerbaijan will have to admit the
independence of NKR otherwise the approach of dual standards not only
will be striking but also will leave an obscure and absurd impression
on the international community,” writes the newspaper. “Anyway, in
unforeseeable, unexpected geopolitical developments the probability of
both positive and negative turnarounds increases which should oblige
the Armenian diplomacy to stay alert all the time to avoid dangerous
roundabouts in the question of settlement of the NK conflict and to
make utmost use of the favourable situations,” concludes the
author. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. The meeting of the NKR government on
April 27 discussed the implementation of the state budget of 2003 in
which reference “Addressing the meeting, prime minister Anoushavan
Danielian announced that the government had set an aim to maintain the
high rates of the economic development of the past years and provided
an abrupt growth of the economic development of the republic in 2003,”
informed the press service of the NKR government to the newspaper
“Republic of Armenia” (28.04.04). In the article headlined “Despite
Growth of Rates Difficulties are Ahead” the newspaper “Azg”
(29.04.04), touching upon the same topic, mentions, “2003 was a
turning point in the economic development of NKR. In particular, the
real growth of the GDP totaled 19.8 percent. Growth of rates was
reported also in the spheres of industry, agriculture and other. The
growth of the budget revenues was also unprecedented.” In this context
the active coefficient of the private sector was emphasized; if in
2000 the share of this sector in the industrial production was 25
percent, in three years it tripled. “With such growth rates in the
upcoming two years the minimum salary in NKR will double, and the
pensions will grow every year,” says the newspaper. “However, let no
one have the impression that we have overcome all the problems,” said
the prime minister of NKR according to the newspaper “Republic of
Armenia”, “on the contrary, I am sure that the main difficulties are
to follow. This is not a popular expression but the description of the
current economic situation of the country. And despite the high rates
of economic development in the past years the economic growth of the
country should be characterized as rehabilitative growth,” the
newspaper presents the opinion of the prime minister of
NKR. KOCHARIAN-ALIEV. As we have already mentioned, almost all the
newspapers of Armenia covered the meeting of Kocharian and
Aliev. Particularly the newspaper “Golos Armeni” (in Russian) touching
upon the dialogue that took place during the meeting of Kocharian and
Aliev in Warsaw in the article “Forgot About the 0?” (28.04.04),
mentions, “the newly elected president of Azerbaijan did not mention
about starting the negotiations from zero which Aliev insisted on in
some of his addresses.” The newspaper “Aravot” (30.04.04), presenting
the information provided by the radio station “Liberty” on the press
conference of the president of Azerbaijan after the PACE meeting on
April 29 (in which Armenian journalists also participated – C.M.),
touches upon the question asked by the reporter of the same radio
station “What do you mean when speaking about starting the
negotiations from zero?” to which Aliev answered that the presidents
of the Republic of Armenia and Azerbaijan did not achieve any
arrangements in reference to the peaceful settlement of the Karabakh
conflict, therefore from whatever point the parties start the
negotiations, it will be a zero point. According to the newspaper,
Aliev also added that the Armenian party distorts the facts announcing
that the RA president R. Kocharian and the former president of
Azerbaijan H. Aliev reached arrangements for the peaceful regulation
of the NK conflict. According to another publication of the same
newspaper, “In Warsaw R. Kocharian stated that the only way of the
settlement of the NK question is “peaceful and willing divorce”. In
his turn I. Aliev announced that he would not cooperate with Armenia
unless the problem of NK is solved.” EVALUATION. In his turn the RA
minister Vardan Oskanian evaluated the meeting of the presidents of
Armenia and Azerbaijan as quite effective. “We may state unambiguously
that the negotiation process is coming out of the deadlock,” mentioned
the foreign minister of RA in his interview to the newspaper “Republic
of Armenia”.