Newsfeed

In 2015 Beeline intends to enlarge its customer base in Armenia by expanding the spectrum of its services and enhancing the service quality and price affordability

ISO/IEC 27001:2013 Information Security Management System implemented by VivaCell-MTS

"Ameria" Has Launched a Project for the Development of Small-Scale Gardening in Armenia

ACBA-Credit Agricole Bank expanding regional network with new branch

Expert: Armenia and EU not likely to sign any document at Riga Summit

Iraqi Airways to make first Baghdad-Yerevan-Erbil flight

Yerevan, February 26. ArmInfo. Marianna Mkrtchyan.ason Katz says United States supports Armenia to disadvantage of its allies Azerbaijan and Georgia

Another parliamentarian leaves Prosperous Armenia Party Faction

Ayb School and VivaCell-MTS have summed up the results of their cooperation

PSRC: Armenia negotiating with Russia to maintain gas tariff

Armenian Parliament Speaker gives one more chance to Gagik Tsarukyan

On the eve of spring, Orange presents new good surprises for internet and voice customers

Arthur Ashughyan: Future of lapidary industry depends on how competitive and efficient it is

Political expert: One should not expect serious internal political processes on Mar 1

Political expert: US State Department's calls to set free Azeri raiders will receive no response

Prosperous Armenia to convoke extraordinary congress on Mar 5

Cavusoglu: Armenia has failed test of sincerity

Parliamentary majority turn down the opposition's draft statement on crisis in governance

Richard Giragossian: The success of the talks with Brussels much depends on reliability and ability of the Armenian government

Baku may change its mind at the last moment and attend Euronest PA session in Yerevan, Armenian MP says

Ivica Dacic sees deterioration of situation in Karabakh and slackening of peace negotiations

Traian Hristea says 2015 will see new level of Armenia-EU cooperation

Avaz Hasanov: OSCE MG, Russia, EU, or U.S. can impose no pressure upon Armenia and Azerbaijan in the matter of Karabakh

Nikol Pashinyan demands that NKR authorities should punish the policemen who beat Founding Parliament's members

Ex-Prime Minister: Amid statements on SME development, decision to reduce number of banks in Armenia is sheer mockery

Ameriabank wins four nominations of Best Exchange Members of 2014 awards

Central Bank forecasts slowdown in salary growth rates in Armenia

UN Secretary-General and OSCE Chairman-in-Office Discussed the Situation in Nagorno Karabakh

Hot debates over ANC's project "On crisis in government system" in Armenian Parliament

Beeline announces the change of payment days for account charges and blocking of numbers for postpaid mobile subscribers

ACBA-Credit Agricole Bank increases the number of its offices

Prosperous Armenia Party prepares for extraordinary congress in early March and promises to make unexpected decisions

Ecologists and Villagers are Discontent with the Akhtala Ore Mining Plant’s Plans on Building a New Tailing Dump

Central Bank forecasts 30% decline of personal transfers in 2015

U.S. Department again urges Armenia to free Azerbaijani raiders

Eurovision-2015: VaheTilbian from Ethiopia has becomethe third member of the band "Genealogy"

Russian border guards and Armenian law enforcers continue their search for missing Armenian officer

Areximbank-Gazprombank Group offers new AMD time deposit

Armenia's Energy Ministry: Consultant of project to build fourth Armenia-Georgia power transmission line will be selected in next three weeks

No decision adopted yet to strip Gagik Tsarukyan of his seat in parliament

Ankara disclaims reports on cancellation of Gallipoli commemorations

Energy Ministry of Armenia: Russia to supply 2 billion cu m of gas to Armenia in 2015

Georgian expert: Even biggest concerns of Moscow over Georgia-EU rapprochement will not make Tbilisi revise Association Agreement

Contract serviceman of 102nd Russian military base in Gyumri is missing

Views from Tbilisi: The Armenia-Georgia good-neighbored relations may well become a link between EU and EEU

Armenian Government suggests reducing profit tax 10-fold for large exporters

ANC suggests discussing Serzh Sargsyan's pressure on Prosperous Armenia Party in Parliament

Parliament of Armenia kills impeachment bill

Anelik Bank has the Best Calendar for 2015 according to an interbank contest

Armenian National Assembly rejects Zaruhi Postanjyan's bill

Arif Yunusov: The problem with Gabala radar station is determined by the deteriorating personal relations of Vladimir Putin and Ilham Aliyev

Interview of Arif Yunusov, Head of the Conflict Studies and Migration Department of the Institute for Peace and Democracy (Baku), with ArmInfo News Agency

  • by David Stepanyan

  • Thursday, December 13, 11:12

 

Until very recently, Russia was interested in exploitation of the Gabala radar station and was negotiating with Azerbaijan to prolong the lease period. However, the situation has deteriorated and the Russian Defense Ministry has announced that it is leaving Gabala. What is the reason of Moscow’s decision, in addition to Baku’s demand that the leasing price should be increased 40 times?

 

Built in 1985, the Gabala radar station was once one of the most important elements of the Soviet missile defense system. Today, after thirty years, the Gabala radar station has become outdated politically and technically and can no longer be perceived as a factor of Russia's political presence in Azerbaijan and in the region. The problem is now determined by the deteriorating interstate and even personal relations of Vladimir Putin and Ilham Aliyev. It has been reflected also in the Wikileaks cables. Irrespective of the two president's efforts to show that the scandalous publication was not serious, it was evident that the relations of those politicians and leaders are not good. As long as Dmitry Medvedev was on the post of the Russian President, no one thought that there would be any problems with the Gabala radar station. The Azerbaijani authorities then believed that Putin would not come to power again. However, as soon as they in Baku realized that Putin is returning, even pursues a goal of establishing a Eurasian Union with a single customs zone, the clouds began to gather over the Gabala station. However, it was just Azerbaijan's response when Baku demanded such a high price for leasing the Gabala radar station to avoid any official refusal from extension of the lease term. Baku just wanted to show that everything depends on the economic factor, allegedly they failed to agree on a leasing price. In reality, the situation with the Gabala radar station should be studied from the viewpoint of the deteriorating interstate relations.

 

Very often Azerbaijan speaks of the pressure exerted on Baku by Moscow concerning the formation of Azerbaijan’s energy policy. Do you agree with such statements?

 

Undoubtedly, Russia imposes certain pressure upon Azerbaijan not only in the matter of formation of the energy policy. Actually, they mean changing of the foreign policy vector of Azerbaijan. It is not accidental that the authorities of Russia made such a step like setting up of a new political organization in the person of the known activists of the Azerbaijani community of Russia, the so called "Club of billionaires", as well as started the campaign on activation of the activity of several organizations of national minorities of Azerbaijan, the activists of which live in Russia. These are the links of one and the same chain. And after Ilham Aliyev refused to attend the CIS summit in Ashkhabad and to adopt a decision on the Gabala radar station, it has become clear that Russia will undoubtedly take new measures against Azerbaijan in the near future. These measures will most likely be taken against Azerbaijani migrants in Russia via artificial creation of problems in the economic sphere, just the same way as the ban of Moldavian and Georgian wine delivery to Russia, and even more activation of the national minorities in Azerbaijan. Perhaps, other events will also take place. Let's not forget that the coming year is the year of the presidential election in Azerbaijan.

 

Last week SOCAR President Rovnag Abdullayev said in Istanbul that the TANAP construction was put off till 2014. On 15 Sept 2012 Abdullayev said in Baku that the construction would be launched before the end of 2013. Is this decision connected with the 16 Oct 2013 presidential election in Azerbaijan?

 

I am sure of that. This decision has obviously been taken in order to wait for a calmer period.  

 

Europe has started a new "parade of sovereignties”: Scotland, Catalonia, and Flanders. Do you think the new European reality may introduce some changes in the resolution of conflicts in the post-Soviet territory, in particular, in the Karabakh peace process?

 

Europe has really started a new "parade of sovereignties". But this parade covered those European countries where borders do not play any special part any more, where the law really plays its part, where the rights of the people are a priority and where many other things differ very much from the situation in our region. A financial rather than an ethnic issue lies in the basis of this sovereignty. For this reason, I am confident that this parade will not really end.  Anyway, the South Caucasus is very far away from Europe. We are not yet Europeans and will hardly become Europeans in the near future. We have got our own level and the attitude to our region will differ. For this reason, the European events will not affect the Karabakh conflict settlement. More truly, everything will be in its current position in the Karabakh settlement, "neither war nor peace".

 

According to the public opinion polls in Armenia, the Karabakh problem is number three or four for the Armenian public. What significance does the Karabakh conflict have for the Azerbaijani public?

 

The Karabakh conflict is of secondary importance for Armenians because they consider it a de-facto settled issue, which must be settled de-jure through diplomatic efforts. As for Azerbaijanis, they do not think so, as they are a defeated party and the issue is a priority for them. If the situation on the front line grows tense or any collisions occur during the negotiations, Armenians will immediately forget all their problems and focus on the Karabakh conflict again. Therefore, it would be right to say that the issue is still acute for both of the peoples.

 

Azerbaijan has some problems with freedom of speech but realizes at the same time that the entry into the international arena is impossible without a good image of the country. What effect do you think the pardon, glorification and reward of Ramil Safarov, who had been sentenced to life in prison by the Hungarian Court for murdering an Armenian officer, had on Azerbaijan’s image?

 

Undoubtedly, the effect was negative. However, I'd not like to exaggerate that factor, because in the succession of time everything will remain in the past. Many factors, and first of all, the interests of state and ruling elites, often play a crucial role in the politics. Therefore, we see such paradoxes when democratic western states are in friendly relations with countries with open dictatorship and little care for their image.

 

After four years in jail for slander, tax dodging, calls for terrorism and incitement of ethnic hatred the journalist Eynulla Fatullayev was pardoned by the Azeri President following a verdict by the European Court of Human Rights. This case has become an example of effective international pressure on the Azeri authorities. Can one say that the other human rights activists are not yet in jail exclusively due to that pressure?

 

Yes, the release of journalist Eynulla Fatullayev was the result of international pressure, but that pressure is not general and is much weaker than before. That's why instead of one released journalist the Azeri authorities are arresting many more. Nobody can guarantee that there will be no new arrests of journalists and human rights defenders before the upcoming presidential election in Azerbaijan. Practice shows that the number of such arrests during election years is much higher.

Send to a friend

To (e-mail)


Your name


Message


Comments

View comments (0)
  • READ ALL COMMENTS
  • POST A COMMENT

Be first to comment on this article

* Indicates required fields