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.
In a move that made headlines in international media the Armenian government on May 5 markedly did not turn down a bill drafted by two opposition lawmakers that would oblige Armenia to formally recognize the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh.
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.
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.
Armenia refuses to negotiate on the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh problem until international security guarantees and the introduction of international ceasefire monitoring mechanisms are ensured to pave the way for peace talks.
The trip of Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan to Nagorno-Karabakh took place before the visit to Yerevan by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who was expected to present a Russian peace plan to resolve the Karabakh conflict. However, Sargsyan’s visit to Nagorno-Karabakh has apparently changed the Armenian side’s attitude towards this plan discarded by many as “anti-Armenian”.
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.
A possible meeting of the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan on Nagorno Karabakh with the participation of the foreign ministers of Russia, the United States and France has already been confirmed by Moscow. The other OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries have at least not denied such an opportunity.
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.
When Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan praised the fighting spirit of Armenian soldiers in Nagorno-Karabakh last weekend, he said that no one of them would flee the battlefield or retreat in the face of Azerbaijani aggression earlier this month, fighting “till the last bullet”.
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