Interview of the known Azerbaijani political expert, one of the leaders of the People’s Front of Azerbaijan, an expert on the Caucasus, Zardusht Alizade with ArmInfo news agency
by David Stepanyan
Several dozens of young people died for the first half year of 2014 at the border in the conditions of the “frozen” Karabakh conflict.
A war between Armenia and Azerbaijan will be disastrous for Armenia, in case of opening the front in Nakhijevan.
One cannot but think so looking at the future theater of military actions, unless there is Russia's factor. From Nakhijevan to Yerevan there is some 70 km - distance. However, Russia's factor will not allow that war, and much less after the August War of 2008. It became clear then that Russia will not allow any change in the correlation and configuration of forces in the Karabakh conflict zone. Therefore, I think, whatever happens in Nakhijevan - clashes, murders, wounds on the frontline - it will not change the general situation. I am confident that Russia does its best for Armenia and Azerbaijan to remain "hanged from the hook" of the Karabakh conflict. If Russian 'peacekeepers', de-facto occupational forces, were deployed in the Karabakh conflict zone, Moscow could say that the issue is settled. So far, in the Kremlin they think that the current situation of no war - no peace is stable enough to leave it unchanged. Therefore, all these skirmishes depend on the domestic situation in both Armenia and Azerbaijan. Sometimes Armenians make provocations, sometimes Azerbaijanis start skirmishes often before landmark events,
signing of important contracts. All this happens not without participation of Russia, the authorities and the military in Yerevan and Baku. Generally, I am more than convinced that the situation is stable now and neither Armenia nor Azerbaijan seek to resume the military actions.
Before the elections or signing of important contracts young people die…
The death of dozens of young people at the Armenian-Azerbaijani border is more the so-called lyrics, and the reality is in the true economic and political interests of our elites at stake. The authorities have already formed a habit to brainwash masses by the "Karabakh danger" and to neutralize the opposition. Something seems to be happening with the elites and increasing their desire to neutralize. As a result, we have skirmishes, incidents and death. They want to send a message to the community and show that there is an external enemy, a danger that requires consolidation, suppression and neutralizing of somebody, etc. I don't know what is happening at present, as elites are closed in our countries and everything concerning them is a great secret. Processes have been developing within the elites: the processes of distribution of resources, financial flows, positions. And any row between ministers with participation or without participation of the president is always accompanied by skirmishes at the border under the slogan "Karabakh is in danger!".
Armenia's defence minister offered the OSCE MG co-chairmen to set up a commission to investigate the border incidents. But they refused because of lack of funds
When making such a proposal to the intermediaries, Seyran Ohanyan was confident that the intermediaries will refuse.
Everybody have been playing their own part. Russia under the mask of an intermediary has been playing its own part according to its own scenario, and the OSCE MG - its own. Serzh Sargsyan has been playing a part of a patriot of the Armenian people and partisan of happiness of the people through Karabakh's joining Armenia. Ilham Aliyev has been playing a part of a defender of the Fatherland and for happiness of the Azerbaijani people through keeping Karabakh within Azerbaijan. All of them get salary for that and have their own profit, privatize facilities for a song, buy real estate somewhere, etc.However, their key business is defending of the Fatherland, that they have been doing for 20 years.
What or who can change the created situation?
The situation created in Armenia, Azerbaijan and around the Karabakh conflict, may first of all change Russia, Azerbaijani political expert. If this country starts splitting as the USSR, it will not remember Karabakh. The bad reality may change aspiration of our societies. But if people finally understand how long they were done up brown and used, this may change much. However, we first of all need awakening of the civil society, for the latter to stop playing a part of a defender of the people and their interests, but a defender of the official position of the state. I am confident that actually all these so-called non-governmental organizations act like offices of the Foreign Ministry and various propaganda companies. Anyway, all these people, stemming from the positions of the radical, non-compromising and senseless demands, have been automatically turning into the enemies of democracy and of the future of our peoples. We have to continue such a model of the conflict settlement which will take into account interests of the Armenian and Azerbaijani peoples. Apart, we will always remain non-democratic and even fascist states.
In Baku Peace and Democracy Institute has taken to take this part. But today they try to destroy it as well as the people’s diplomacy
Since becoming effective, the "people's diplomacy" has started hindering the general line of the authorities of Azerbaijan and Armenia towards freezing of the conflict, its prolongation and using like a resource for supporting their power. This process hinders the authorities with a help of the Karabakh conflict to keep our peoples in leash, as the people's diplomacy has suddenly revealed that there are models of living together of the Armenians and Azerbaijanis. When we meet each other, we start treating each other with a great respect, and do not even want to kill each other. I think that even the fact of killing of an Armenian officer by the Azerbaijani one with axe, is also the result of manipulation by the public conscience, whipping up hysteria and enmity in Azerbaijan as well as Armenia,
May the events in Ukraine affect Karabakh?
Russia, France and the USA have as deep disagreements in Karabakh as they have in Ukraine. For this reason, first, we should forget about the cooperation of the USA, France and Russia in the Karabakh conflict. That is to say, they have been cooperating in the Karabakh conflict just the same way as in the Ukrainian conflict. That is to say, they have as deep disagreements in Karabakh as they have in Ukraine, but they arranged to freeze them for the time being.To be short, the strongest one will freeze the conflict. At the beginning of the 90s when Azerbaijan and the West were negotiating on the oil contracts
in Baku, the success of the Armenians in Karabakh and the compromises of the Azerbaijani government to the oil companies of the West were developing parallel to each other. In other words, the worse the situation at the front line for Azerbaijan, the more it was forced to make compromises. Just for this reason, all the countries of the West were interested in continuation of the conflict, putting Azerbaijan down on knees. All this finally resulted in a compromise at $30-40 billion. For all the years of independence Armenia got $2 billion from the USA.
What is Russia’s profit?
Azerbaijan and Armenia are hanging on the hooks of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict that were put under their ribs by Russia in the early 1990s. In early 1991 in my article I gave a clear picture of the situation..At that time all of the post-Soviet republics were hanging on such hooks. Those who were wiser got free. Armenia and Azerbaijan are still hooked. Georgia tore the hooks off its body but left part of its flesh in Russia's claws. Today the Georgians are almost free but they in the Kremlin are doing their best to muddy things up in Javakheti and Kvemo- Kartli. In Javakheti they are not very successful as the Armenian authorities perfectly know what a backfire they may face if they quarrel with Georgia. But in Kvemo-Kartli people are sheeplike enough to believe you if you tell them that the key reason why they are unable to sell their tomatoes and cucumbers expensive is the conflict with Russia and that the only way-out for them is to break away from Georgia. Likewise the Armenians in the early 1990s were told that once Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh reunified, they would get happy. What they have today is a default. The Azerbaijanis in their turn were told that the moment they broke away from the Soviet Union, they would start living like they in Kuwait do. What they got as a result is just a life in Azerbaijan.