by David Stepanyan
At present, not "maidan" similar to the Ukrainian one, but radical islamization and the mass protests of "bazar and mosque" endanger the ruling authoritarian regime in Azerbaijan, Russian political expert, Sergey Markedonov, told Arminfo correspondent.
"This is a rather serious danger, taking into account the fact that the crisis in Ukraine has left the geographical frames of this state long ago. I think that it is very much important for the South Caucasus countries to find answers to the questions: How much changing of the borders of the former republics of the USSR is possible? What precedents changing of the Crimea's status will provoke? Nobody has canceled the Nagornyy Karabakh conflict, around which there is not a new status-quo, unlike Abkhazia and South Ossetia", - he said. Against such a background, it is very much important if the Ukrainian situation affects local and foreign political situation in the countries involved in the Karabakh conflict, especially Azerbaijan,
He thinks that there are several reasons for such a great interest. Azerbaijan is the key partner of Ukraine in the South Caucasus. Both countries have been actively condemning separatism and supporting each other at international forums and organizations. Baku also plays an important part in Kiev's aspiration to build the energy alternatives so that to minimize its dependence on Russia. We should take into consideration the fact that more than 7% out of the total export of armament from Ukraine is the share of Azerbaijan.
"Nevertheless, after the interim government coming to power in Ukraine, the leadership of Baku were trying to keep distance from the Ukrainian crisis and abstain making specific steps to support Kiev. Baku scares sharp worsening of relations with Russia, as it understands that Azerbaijan cannot have a role of "a young democracy trampled by the Russian imperialism". Taking into account the lobby resources of Armenia in the USA and countries of the EU, especially in France, in Baku they understand that defrosting of the Karabakh conflict will not be followed by the similar reaction of the West at the situation in South Ossetia, Abkhazia and the Crimea", - the expert said.
Besides the geo-political factors, Baku is careful as it scares revolutionary technologies similar to the "maidan". In this context. the expert said that the Baku regime recognizing the Crimea within Ukraine, nevertheless, will not support the revolutionary aspirations of Ukraine. There is still no force in Azerbaijan able to challenge incumbent. And despite the Talish and Lezgin threat, at present there is nothing in Azerbaijan that may be compared with the Crimea. "Nevertheless, statements by the authorities about "the stable development of Azerbaijan" should not create an illusion of calmness. The risk of development of the radical islam, backed by weakness and separation of the opposition, is still preserved in the Muslim Azerbaijan. And the wildcat strikes similar to the one held at the Ismail region of Azerbaijan in January 2013, are evidence of that", - Markedonov concluded.