After the four-day war in Nagorno-Karabakh in early April calls for bringing those responsible for the situation to justice have been voiced more vigorously in Armenia. The matter concerns not only the level of preparedness of the army, but also allegations of corruption and mismanagement in the country as a whole. More than nine dozen Armenian soldiers were killed in the April 2-5 clashes with Azerbaijani forces in Nagorno-Karabakh and critics claim Armenians would have fewer casualties had proper armaments been purchased and deployed.
The meeting of the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents that took place in Vienna, Austria, on May 16 in the presence of the heads of the foreign policy departments of the United States, Russia and France, elicited mixed reactions in the two South Caucasus countries.
The Armenian government has made its first serious bid for a large-scale anti-corruption and anti-trust campaign by announcing cost-cutting measures related to administrative bodies.
As Armenia marked May 9, the 71st anniversary of allied victory in World War II in Europe and the 24th anniversary of the liberation of Shushi during the first Nagorno-Karabakh war (1992-1994), there was no shortage of statements from officials related to the recent escalation of fighting in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict zone.
Last week, the Armenian National Assembly’s Foreign Relations Commission considered two major drafts – the agreement on creating a joint Armenian-Russian air defense system and the motion for the start of procedures to quit the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).
The two-day visit to Yerevan by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov due to start on April 21 will come amid speculation of a new plan by Moscow to settle the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.
The last three days in the Karabakh conflict zone passed without news of new casualties as the sides exchanged the bodies of servicemen killed in the worst flare-up of violence on April 2-5.
Germany’s Bundestag plans to consider passing a resolution on the Armenian Genocide on June 2. Experts speak about the likelihood of such a resolution being adopted, but note that this would depend on global agreements between Germany and Turkey.
Criticism has been leveled in Armenia at foreign policy decision-makers who are blamed for being unable to convert the results of military operations into diplomatic achievements. The main gripe concerns an excessively cautious attitude of Armenian diplomacy which does not take initiatives, while only feebly reacting to foreign-policy trends.
Last week was relatively quiet on the Nagorno Karabakh front as the military said there were fewer shots and less intensity of fire at the line of contact and along the restive Armenian-Azerbaijani border. At the same time, calls for peace talks after last month’s deadly fighting in Karabakh were made at the diplomatic front.
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