Newsfeed

Minister promises fair and mutually acceptable decision on the law "On temporary incapacity for work"

Naira Zohrabyan suggests inquiring into financial frauds by wife of ex Finance Minister

New opposition four to start drawing out alterations to Electoral Code

Newspaper: New scandal brewing around funded pension in Armenia

Brazilian Film 'Boy and the World' animated film - winner of Armenian Animation Festival ReAnimania

Galust Sahakyan: EEU is an effective platform for resolving of many problems against the background of global economic crisis and political tension

Mobile Radio available for Beeline subscribers

Yerevan: Issue of the sale of Russian military hardware to Azerbaijan is always on agenda of Armenian- Russian relations

Political expert: Ukrainian crisis is re-occurrence of conflicts of early 1990s and 08.08.08 war

View from Yerevan: Ukraine and its two regions are like a suitcase without a handle

Armenia's Deputy FM: As long as Azerbaijan continues to be non-constructive, there will be no progress in Nagorno- Karabakh peace talks

Till Dec 31 2014 Ameriabank will offer 1% bonus for mortgage loan transferred from another bank

AmCham elects Tigran Jrbashyan as its President

Owner of Old Erivan Holding: From moral point of view, my letter to the President is the last step in my fight against Unibank

Expert: Oligarchs and corruption are an even bigger threat for Armenia's national security than Turkey and Azerbaijan combined

Gevorg Kostanyan: The Shant Harutyunyan case is not politically charged

ProCredit Bank reopens renovated Artashat branch

Sharmazanov: In today's interview Gagik Tsarukyan repeated its speech at Oct 24 rally but in an easily defined form

Nikolay Ryzhkov: Nagorno-Karabakh may join EAEU after its final status is determined

Prices for meat products may grow in Armenia

Ardshininvestbank reopens its new and reconstructed Shengavit Branch

Prosperous Armenia Party has not yet determined its position regarding Armenia's joining Eurasian Economic Union

Elmar Mammadyarov: Azerbaijan is ready to start the work on the project of a great peace treaty

Azerbaijani diversionists blame their liquidated comrade Hasan Hasanov for murdering Karabakh civilian

Armen Gevorgyan appointed Head of IDeA Foundation

ArmSwissbank and Management Mix intend to set up an investment management company

Winners of "Open Game 2014" Championship of Computer and Mobile Games already announced

Ameriabank confidently strengthens its leading positions

VivaCell-MTS provides a diesel generator set to Ministry of Emergency Situations for uninterrupted operation of backup server

New garbage dump to be opened in Yerevan

The UK would not like Simferopol-Yerevan flights to be launched

Beeline and Edward Mirzoyan String Quartet announce extension of their cooperation.

Air Armenia suspends passenger operations

Head of Armenian CEC unaware of opposition's plans to organize snap parliamentary elections

Armenia's deputy finance minister does not rule out growth of prices after Armenia's joining Eurasian Economic Union

British and German Ambassadors hope Ankara will make a step towards normalization of relations with Armenia in future

David Harutyunyan: Bi polar political system is being formed in Armenia

Ukraine's Ambassador refutes reports on opening of Yerevan-Simferopol flight

Washington not commenting on Azerbaijani saboteurs' trial

Newspaper: Armenian National Congress and Heritage Party fail to persuade Leader of Prosperous Armenia Party to launch sit-down strike in Liberty Square

Edward Nalbandian says Sargsyan-Aliyev meeting in Paris was a step towards rapprochement of the two countries' positions

Analyst: There are no idiots in Russia today

Handset, tablet and internet modem repair and service center is now available in the Orange Flagship store

"Beeline Child Development Centers" opened in Ararat region of Armenia

Monitoring Report on the Agreement between EU and Armenia on Facilitation of Issuance of Visas presented in Yerevan

VivaCell-MTS implements the 6th draw "365"

Eduard Sharmazanov: It is impossible to speak of compromises if Baku rattles the sabre

Ivan Kukhta: 70% of citizens of Ukraine in Armenia supported the course of the president and government of Ukraine

Special Investigation Service of Armenia initiates criminal case regarding incident that occurred to ASALA veteran

Results of Sargsyan-Aliyev Paris meeting summed up

Exclusive

Ashot Manucharyan: It is very much dangerous and senseless to lead Russia to war readiness

Tigran Khzmalyan: Armenia has linked its Noah's Arc to Russia's sinking Titanik that is still selling tickets

Alexander Iskandaryan: Peace and war are the two things Russia does not need in the South Caucasus

Ariel Cohen: Putin may be compensating for reputational damage to Russia in the conflict in Ukraine by trying to resolve the Karabakh conflict

Hovhannes Igityan: Serzh Sargsyan’s geopolitical choice is an obstacle for investments in Armenia’s economy

Andrey Areshev: Russia wants to see Armenia as its strong and dynamically developing ally in the South Caucasus

Vahan Vardapetyan: October 10 will become the day of culmination of consolidation of the society around the Armenian centrist parties

Manvel Sargsyan: The myth of Russia's importance for Armenia is based on the formula "We will defend you"

Thomas De Waal: The society and power in Armenia and Azerbaijan are strongly linked by a vicious circle

Ukraine’s Ambassador to Armenia: The next phase of development of the Ukraine-EU relations may be only Ukraine's EU membership

Hakob Andreasyan: Current reforms are as important as those conducted in privatization period

Hakob Andreasyan: We try to ring-fence farmers from untypical risks

Giorgi Gvimradze: Russia's fate hangs in the balance in Ukraine

In NK peace, it is necessary to pay attention to other processes in Scotland and Catalonia

Armenia’s ex Defense Minister: We have enough options to advance to the north of Azerbaijan

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