Azerbaijan Attempting To Pose As A Beacon Of Constructive And Civili

AZERBAIJAN ATTEMPTING TO POSE AS A BEACON OF CONSTRUCTIVE AND CIVILIZED BEHAVIOR – EXPERT

16:58 ~U 10.06.13

Anti-Armenian sentiments in Azerbaijan are not only the Azerbaijani
authorities’ policy. Rather, they are a wide social trend the
authorities are keeping pace with, REGNUM reports, referring to
Konstantin Zarulin, Director of the Institute of the CIS.

Even a power change in Azerbaijan will hardly moderate the sentiments.

The expert is sure that Baku is attempting to reduce tension it has
been building up for years. In question is a statement by Rovnag
Abdullayev, President of the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan
Republic (SOCAR), that Azerbaijan might supply gas to Armenia on
certain terms.

“Azerbaijan has been building up tension in the context of the
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, going back on agreements, attempting
high-handed actions. But it has failed. Official Baku sees different
persons involved in the process and a shift in accents. The support
that once seemed sufficient has actually proved to be weak,”
Zatulin says. So the only way out for Baku now is to pose a beacon
of constructive and civilized behavior.

“Azerbaijan is waiting for elections. Ilham Aliyev is apprehensive. I
can feel it. I cannot be there as, for certain reasons, I am a persona
non grata in Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani president’s apprehension
has its reasons as the opposition goes on making demands and accusing
the authorities of being undemocratic.”

With respect to Russia, the expert said: “Moscow is not going to
consider the Aliyev regime any better than any other regime. Baku
once believed that Russia would in any case support the incumbent
authorities to avert possible threats (Islamists, nationalists,
etc..), whereas it is not so sure now…”

Russia itself is not interested in Azerbaijan being sure of its
complete support.

One of Aliyev’s major blunders was that “Azerbaijan’s authorities
believed they had the economic, political and diplomatic potential
to resolve the [Nagorno-Karabakh] problem in their favor within the
shortest period possible. One of the components of their strategy
was permanently building up tension in the conflict zone, attempts
to incite the OSCE Minsk Group to intensify pressure on Armenia,
impose its will on Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh, etc..

Azerbaijan’s successful attempt to torpedo Armenian-Turkish
rapprochement added to its confidence. That misled Azerbaijan into the
wrong conclusion that it had full control of the situation. However,
Azerbaijan’s actions have not produced any results, and Aliyev has
to maneuver now.

“Baku increasing its military budget from year to year has made it the
largest in the region, equal to Armenia’s state budget. Following this
logic, Azerbaijan might resume hostilities, but Baku is both unwilling
and unable to do so. There are many reasons for ‘unwillingness’. For
example, it will result in capital outflow. The incumbent Azerbaijani
president’s father came to power due to unrest. He was well aware
that instability was pregnant with unpredictable consequences. Aliyev
Junior is not so experienced. So he went beyond the limits in his
rhetoric and official statements.

As to ‘unable’ – no one is going to approve of, support or allow it.”

“But Baku still can get over the situation due to the economic factor.

Azerbaijan may take a constructive course provided it implements a
competent policy. But it requires will,” Zatulin says.

Armenian News – Tert.am

From: A. Papazian

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