Arminfo’s interview with Zardusht Alizadeh, an Azerbaijani political scientist, expert in Caucasus
by David Stepanyan
Mr. Alizadeh, please comment on the Sochi meeting outcome. Has the trilateral meeting of the Armenian, Azerbaijani and Russian leaders have reduced tensions on the Line of Contact? What the parties may agree on today?
The trilateral meeting of the presidents in Sochi was in itself an outcome. Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan had not met for so long time before their meeting in Sochi that the trilateral meeting of the presidents can be assessed as an outcome. Demonstrative refusal from meetings became an important component of the real political and image design the presidents have created for the barely literate rabble. For president of Armenia refusal from ineffective and useless meetings with his Azerbaijani counterpart was confirmation of his wise and farseeing position, which was exactly and repeatedly expressed for the Armenian public. Here is its essence, in brief: Karabakh's issue is settled and is not subject to discussion. We won the war, liberated Karabakh and will not give it back. The young generation of Armenians has one task i.e. to liberate Western Armenia from Turkey. I will not assess how real or useful this choice is for the Armenian people. For the Azerbaijani president refusal from meeting his Armenian counterpart was to confirm to the rabble that the postulate about the might of Aliyevs family and Ilham Aliyev personally is right. The equivalent of might is money, which fits into historical and mental features of the South Caucasus peoples. This postulate is repeated nearly every day and is hammered in the heads of the TV-viewing people: Azerbaijan is a mighty country, we have much money, capable army and modern weapons. However, this postulate losses its value as Armenia does not recognize that might of Azerbaijan and does not give Karabakh back amid fruitless meetings of the two presidents. Let's refuse from those meetings and wait until our might i.e. money and weapons, grow too much to be neglected.
Well, but the United States, France and Russia are mediating these meetings …
Sure, at least, the West was seriously concerned over the long pause in the inefficient meetings of the Armenian and Azerbaijani presidents and not because there is no peace and the Armenian and Azerbaijani peoples suffer from that. The West does not care about these or any other peoples in the world. Simply, it is the West's political stance: they mediate and settle their own affairs while mediating. That's the way the world wags. In fact, the devoted friend of Armenians and the best friend of the Aliyevs, President of France Hollande harried to the region and, while discussing their oil and gas issues, offered Aliyev to go back to the good old days and meet… [with the Armenian president]. At least, once. He [Hollande] offered the same also to Armenia's president. eanwhile, the Russian president noticed that visit and the zero effect it had on the situation. And despite the heavy efforts to restore the friendly relations with Ukrainians, he still found time to approve the plan prepared by his team to reaffirm Russia's leading role in the post-Soviet area.
After Hollande's fruitless visit, Putin waited as long as necessary for even Hollande to realize how fruitless was his visit and pressed the button to spark hostilities that claimed the lives of 8-10 Azerbaijani soldiers. In order to hold pursy Azerbaijan from using the toys sold by Russia to attack the Karabakh army, hostilities broke out also in the area of Gazakh-Shamkir, directly on the state border of Armenia and Azerbaijan. This fact can be explained easily: if Azerbaijan tries to take retaliatory actions in Karabakh, military actions will start also in the area of Gazakh and Shamkir, which borders with the territory of Armenia, the country that is under CSTO's shield. This will create a reason for Russia to involve into the conflict. I am sure that the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan could not decline such extraordinary invitation and harried to Sochi, where they reaffirmed to the world that Russia is still the demiurge in the Caucasus.
"This is the major outcome of the trilateral meeting in Sochi. As regards the deaths of Armenian and Azerbaijani soldiers, sorry, but omelettes are not made without breaking eggs," Alizadeh said regretfully.
In other worlds, the upsurge in tensions in the Karabakh conflict zone and on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border is caused by internal factors…
Escalation of tensions and fatalities is the logical and natural continuation of the inhumane and anti-national policy the Armenian and Azerbaijani leaders wage to favor their foreign patrons
Foreign Ministry of Azerbaijan's strategic ally - Turkey has already expressed its support to Baku's recent sabotage attacks, while Armenia's strategic ally Russia is so far silent, like the leadership of the CSTO. Why does the Kremlin demonstrate so much caution?
Cooperation of Turkey and Azerbaijan in the Karabakh issue does not go beyond diplomacy and propaganda. It is quite natural that the Turkish Foreign Ministry was to express its 'friendly solidarity' to show that the cooperation with Azerbaijan still exists. However, all this are just words, nothing more. Russia's Foreign Ministry could not, but express neutral concerns. As for the CSTO, it could not but keep silent meaningfully. Meanwhile, a pause and silence often speak louder than words. In the sabotage attacks and shootings in July and August, every party played its role. Even the killed soldiers played a certain role in this Russia-staged performance.
Baku traditionally presents Armenia as the major threat to its national security. Are there any other threats to Azerbaijan’s national security? What about radical Islam?
Azerbaijan is generally right specifying Armenia as a threat to its security. Besides Armenia, no country occupies or claims the legal and internationally recognized territories of Azerbaijan. Another matter that Armenia is not independent in its actions. Yerevan fulfills the political order of other countries, and Azerbaijan knows those countries quite well, but it cannot name them in the official doctrine for the known reasons. "Radical Islam is created and managed in the third world countries by the first world countries. However, radical Islam constitutes no threat to Azerbaijan's national security so far. Azerbaijani authorities are so predictable and manageable that there is no need to use radical Islam in Azerbaijan until it is time.
The Russia-West conflict is sliding to a cold war. Will that confrontation stop at Ukraine or it will spillover to Karabakh?
The Russia-West conflict sliding to a cold war is deepening and exacerbating. Naturally, this makes the West, as the stronger and richer party to the conflict, expand the geography of the conflict zones and hot points to split the already limited resources of its rival," he said.
In such case, it is much easier to ensure material and quantitative domination in one and even several directions. The second front of this geopolitical confrontation is dangerous for the relatively weaker state. In this light, Karabakh may break out again, not because the West does not like Armenia, but because Armenia failed to make the choice the world's superpowers wanted it to do.