Armenia may 'turn from Russia to USA'

Fri 19 November 2010 06:59 GMT | 10:59 Local Time

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Elchin Shikhlinski

News.Az interviews Elchin Shikhlinski, chairman of the Journalists' Union of Azerbaijan, editor-in-chief of the Zerkalo newspaper.

How would you comment on the case of CIS Executive Secretary Sergey Lebedev, who denied to the Armenian Foreign Ministry his remarks recorded on tape in Baku about the Karabakh resolution process?

We have often seen politicians thinking about one thing, saying another and implying something else entirely. We have also heard that politics is a dirty business. But I am convinced that politicians are making it a dirty business by using smear tactics. The current case, a clear example of an attempt to say one thing in Baku and something else in Yerevan, proves that, in fact, none of the leading superpowers is interested in a fair solution to the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh despite their attempts to convince us of the opposite. The resolution of this conflict will not allow it to be used for someone's geopolitical interests. This unsettled territorial conflict between the two neighbouring states has already turned into a geopolitical bargaining chip between leading superpowers striving to seize control over the entire South Caucasus. Any methods are used to attain this goal since, according to the superpowers fighting for influence in our region, the end justifies the means.

How do you explain the fact that Armenian media and political scientists and experts have recently started to criticize Russia and accuse it of stirring up the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh in order to seize full control over Armenia and make it Russia's outpost in the Caucasus?

There may be numerous reasons and explanations for this. For example, some of the Armenian media and expert community may have realized what the rest of the world understood long ago - Armenia, which has isolated itself by constant territorial claims on its neighbours, merely has no opportunities for economic development without the resolution of the conflict in Karabakh. An understanding of this leads to a search for who is to blame for what's happened and they blame Russia, which has really reduced Armenia to the level of its obedient servant. There is another point. As pragmatists, including in the political arena, the Armenians are trying to show readiness to betray their masters, to find a a new master ready to give more and to take Armenia's opinion into account more than Russia did. In other words, they are sending a message to Russia: if you take a fair position on the Karabakh conflict, we will turn to the United States. And finally, it should not be ruled out that the Armenians may be working in both directions at once.

Work in several areas requires major resources. Armenia's expert community has recently been saying that the country is losing the information war to Azerbaijan. Do you agree?

First of all, Armenians worldwide prepared to seize Nagorno-Karabakh from Azerbaijan. One of the components of this preparation was the information attack, the promotion in the international media of the Armenian version of the reasons for this conflict. The Azerbaijani version of the reasons and implications of the conflict in Karabakh has received world attention just recently. This is connected with the fact that our country has started to pay more attention to information warfare with Armenia. But it is too soon to stop. It is necessary to work for the world to accept the true position of Azerbaijan on the reasons and implications of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.

Akper Hasanov




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