BAKU, Azerbaijan, Aug. 14
In the current difficult geostrategic situation, the protection of national interests both in the system of international relations and due to critical conditions in the region is of strategic importance and is extremely urgent, Azerbaijani MP Hikmat Babaoglu told Trend.
Babaoglu noted that the recent events have reaffirmed that President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, demonstrating determination in the matter of national issues, protects the military-political interests of the country, and in doing so demonstrates adherence to principles.
“The fact that President Ilham Aliyev raised and asked to clarify a number of important issues during the last telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin is extremely important from the point of view of protecting national interests,” he said.
“The matter is that Russia has been continuously arming Armenia for a long time. This has been continuing since the beginning of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Back in 1997, Russian General Lev Rokhlin revealed the fact that Russia had donated arms to the country-occupant Armenia for $1 billion, which was a colossal amount by the standards of those years,” said the MP.
“After the military-political provocation committed by the Armenian army on the border between the two countries on July 12-16, 2020, it becomes clear that Russia continues to arm Armenia. This is absolutely unacceptable. First of all, arming the occupying country by Russia contradicts international law. Secondly, it doesn’t correspond to its mission as a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, and thirdly, it is inconsistent with the country’s historical, political and moral responsibility in the region, because arming Armenia means supporting the occupation of Azerbaijani lands,” noted Babaoglu.
“Moreover, this is an attempt to legitimize the status quo in the region and, finally, to ignore the national interests of Azerbaijan as a strategic partner. None of the abovementioned can have any legal or political justification,” he stressed.
“If the Minsk Group cannot carry out its mission, then the co-chairs should be changed, and other members of the Minsk Group should take over the mediating mission of the co-chairs. The most suitable country for this role is Turkey, which bears historical, political and moral authority in the region. Even during the establishment of the Minsk Group, Turkey’s co-chairmanship was seriously considered, but, unfortunately, this did not happen,” the MP said.
“Thus, at this difficult historical stage, Russia should not aggravate the situation in the South Caucasus region. The situation in the region is already difficult by arming Armenia, the occupier. On the contrary, Russia should make efforts, as never before, to resolve the problem. The continuation of the occupation can aggravate the situation not only in the South Caucasus, but also on the southern borders of Russia as a whole, which in no way meets the interests of both Russia and Azerbaijan,” added Babaoglu.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on the withdrawal of its armed forces from Nagorno Karabakh and the surrounding districts.