Marat Terterov: Armenia’s long term security will be better served by strengthening economic security, rather than defining national security on the basis of the Tsarist Russian catch-cry “armiya i flot”
ArmInfo’s interview with Mateusz Piskorski, Head of the European Centre for Geo-political Analysis (Poland).
by David Stepanyan
A few days ago the head of the Aliyev Administration Novruz Mamedov threatened the West that unless it acts pro-Azeri in the Nagornyy Karabakh peace process, Azerbaijan may turn its eyes at the EurAsian Union. Which part of this is populism and which one reality?
On the one hand, Azerbaijan itself is a country that suffers certain political pressure of the countries of the West. On the other hand, we understand that there is strategic partnership between Armenia and Russia which is the key player of planning of EurAsian Union. For this reason, all the statements by Baku are absolutely unreal and participation of Azerbaijan in EuroAsian Union and in general in the EurAsian integration processes is absolutely unreal. Incidentally, the Azerbaijani way of activity at the world level has turned to be rather ineffective especially over the last period of time. In this context, I think that Mamedov's statement is one of those which will be exotically perceived not only in the European Union but Russia as well.
What is the peculiarity of Europe’s relations with Aliyev’s dictator regime? What are they based on besides oil and gas?
The specifics of these relations is often characterized by the fact that Azerbaijan is trying to act with methods which are unacceptable in the West. Azerbaijan allocates huge funds for organization of various propaganda events in the western European countries, including in the European parliament and for organization of lobby in the EU countries. However, all this does not affect, as all these events and materials presented by the Baku propaganda in Europe are too primitive from the point of view of their argumentation. At the same time, the Europeans which are trying to deeper analyze Nagornyy Karabakh conflict, are under the harsh pressure of the Baku authorities. After my last trip to Nagornyy Karabakh I had a talk with Azerbaijan's ambassador to Poland, ex-foreign minister of Azerbaijan Hasan Hasanov. The talk did not contain even a hint to make me revise my viewpoints regarding the Karabakh conflict. That was just an emotional cry of an offended man which brought no benefit to anybody. I thought he was a high level diplomat. But, for instance, his blaming of the whole French political class for being corrupted by Armenians, cannot sound serious in the countries of the European Union. Such wrong steps and approach against the background of absence of the diplomatic potential do not make Europeans think that Azerbaijan has got any serious arguments in favor of itself in the matter of the Nagornyy Karabakh conflict settlement. He watches the last statement by Novruz Mamedov just in this context.
In other words, do you think that only oil dollars and energy resources are not enough to assure Europe that Azerbaijan is right?
Of course, not. All sober politicians and experts of the EU countries understand very well, how may end theoretical transference of Nagornyy Karabakh under jurisdiction of Baku's regime. I said theoretically, as the EU does not have true instruments and tools for that. In the person of Nagornyy Karabakh we have a de-facto existing and established state. Every person which had an opportunity to visit this state, knows that Karabakh residents will never surrender either under the European pressure or that of other players. The European Union is not going either to support the armed attempts of Azerbaijan to capture Karabakh. No comment. On the other hand, the Azerbaijani power system and state administration system, to be soft, are far away from the European democratic standards. The authoritarian regime is in power in Azerbaijan, and Europeans understand very well, how would end the control of Azerbaijan over the people of Karabakh: by ethnic cleansing, mass murder and human tragedy, as well as humanitarian, political and panhuman factor. For this reason, in the European Union one hardly thinks to openly support Baku in Nagornyy Karabakh conflict. Certainly, any symbolic compromises are possible in the diplomatic talks especially regarding energy resources. For instance, official statements by foreign ministry of this or that European country, according to which they recognize territorial integrity and indisputable right of Azerbaijan, but no real step is made in this direction. Everybody are aware of that and the Baku authorities first of all. For this reason, I think that such steps are impossible, at least, for the coming years.
Vice Speaker of the Azeri Parliament Bakhar Muradova accused the Armenian lobby of bribing the German press that writes “bad articles” about the Aliyev regime. Will they in Germany respond to it?
It is just not customary in Europe for such a high-ranking person to speak of the things that are spoken here while drinking beer in the streets. My experience of work with German journalists shows that Mass Media in Germany works in line with the highest standards in Europe. Bribing even the most unpopular paper in Germany is hardly possible. Muradova's statement is just an attempt to insult the people who have different views of the current political system in Azerbaijan
Are those articles a means for pressuring and taming the Aliyev regime and gaining real dividends from it?
The fact that Ilham Aliyev's regime ruling in Azerbaijan reacts very much nervously at any publication regarding Azerbaijan in foreign mass media, is evidence of a certain complex of the leadership of this country. For instance, in Armenia the society and the political class have formed a habit to listen to various, including critical viewpoints, about the power. This is evidence of at least availability of freedom of speech and freedom of mass media in the republic. There is no such pluralism in Azerbaijan. For this reason, any article which even casts a little doubt upon democracy and transparency of the Aliyev's regime, becomes the reason of mortal affront of official Baku. This is not a serious approach, that reminds not so much of underdevelopment of the political culture of Azerbaijan, as of the complex felt by all small states created recently. Such countries have an extremely nervous reaction at any uncomplimentary viewpoint about them. If I were an adviser of Azerbaijani authorities, I would advise them, first of all, to change tone when communicating with Europeans and journalists. I think that Azerbaijan should be the first to be concerned about it.