Union of Azerbaijani Organizations in Russia – The “friends club” who don’t want to follow the fate of Khodorkovski - ANALYSIS
People from different echelons- from diplomat to political scientist, serviceman to Azerbaijani-origin oligarch are summoned to the kitchen …
The image of “Aggressive Russia”, which was formed during Putin’s first term in office, forgotten during Medvedev’s presidency, is back again.
The Kremlin has been able to restore the majority of its positions lost in the post-Soviet area. The “consequences” of the “velvet revolution” have already been eliminated – Yanukovich in Ukraine, Ivanishvili in Georgia have enjoyed Russia’s support, authorities devoted to the Kremlin have been formed in Kyrgyzstan. Once the “velvet revolution” in Kyrgyzstan was supposed to spread to other Central Asian republics and destroy the regimes in the region, but Moscow managed to solve this problem in its interests – the problem was solved to such an extent that Russia was generous enough to allocate $14 billion for the modernization of the army of Kyrgyzstan (along with Tajikistan), which once opposed to it.
The situation in Moldova, Armenia, Belarus and other Central Asian republics is known, Azerbaijan is the only post-Soviet country, which is not under the control of the Kremlin and keeps similar distance and relations both with the West and Russia.
During Dmitry Medvedev’s presidency Russia-Azerbaijan relations revived. The two states signed an agreement on the delimitation of the state borders, trade turnover hit record high, Russian President was actively involved in the settlement of Nagorno Karabakh conflict. Suffice it to say that Russian, Azerbaijani and Armenian presidents held 11 trilateral meetings on the initiative of Medvedev in 2008-2012. But in the past year the situation has changed seriously compared with the previous period, coolness in the relations between the two states has been followed by tension. It is obviously seen that Russia has recalled old imperialist inclinations, the image of “aggressive Russia” has revived. And the following facts prove it:
Azerbaijan’s intention to make changes in the terms regarding the renewal of the agreement on the lease of Gabala radar has actually brought the negotiations to a dead end. Russia can not admit the increase of annual lease payment.
No high-level visits have been paid between the two countries during Vladimir Putin’s new term.
A federal law, which will complicate the condition of the Azerbaijani labor migrants in Russia, has been adopted (though the law has affected the labor migrants from all nations, after the adoption of the law the media controlled by the Kremlin targets mostly Azerbaijani labor migrants).
“Sadval” movement, which is engaged in separatist activity against Azerbaijan, committed bloody terror attacks in Baku, supported Armenian separatists of Nagorno Karabakh, targets to violate stability in the north of the country, has resumed.
The first international conference on “The problems of Lezgins, Avars living in Russia and Azerbaijan and ways of solution” is held at President Hotel, Moscow, it is claimed that ethnic groups undergo assimilation, separatist activity against Azerbaijan is officially encouraged, one of the ideologists of “Talish Mughan Republic” Fakhraddin Eboshzadeh is invited to the constituent conference of “Sadval” and meetings of separatists in Moscow. These events are held with the participation of the representatives of Russian Presidential Administration, Foreign Ministry, Federal Migration Service and Federal Border Service. Another fact of Russia’s high-level support for separatist activity against Azerbaijan is the recent visit of this country’s ambassador to Azerbaijan Vladimir Dorokhin to Azerbaijan’s north-east regions. The “New Musavat” newspaper writes that ambassador held informal meeting with the influential representatives of various ethnic groups in Zagatala, the meeting lasted for several hours. Moreover, Talish separatists in Moscow, who were in the shade and whose activities were not taken seriously for many years, have recently become active, this leaves no doubt – Russia has started to play its separatism card. This card is like the trump in the game.
Azerbaijan’s tense relations with Iran, centuries-long ally of Russia, in recent years, independent policy pursued on the sale of oil and gas, investments made in the economy of Georgia, which is blacklisted by Russia, may be among the factors irritating this country. Russia looks more interesting as a ‘pampered great’ who hasn’t adapted to such behavior against herself in the region.
“THE UNION OF BILLIONAIRES”
Establishment of the Union of Azerbaijani Organizations in Russia by a group of Azerbaijani-origin oligarchs of seems more to be the result of Russia’s “provident action”. One can not remember a single clash among or inside the Azerbaijani Diaspora organizations in Russia, which was broadly covered by media. But one day oligarchs known as Azerbaijani-origin persons, who were at different times scared by Russia, gathered and declared the establishment of a new union. Altogether the capital of the persons brought together by this union is reportedly more than $50 billion. A number of questions emerged regarding the union, which immediately won the image of “Billionaires’ Union”, the organizers avoid answering these questions by all means.
Though Rustam Ibrahimbeyov, who makes no secret of being inspirer of the organization, says the main aim of establishing the Union of Azerbaijani Organizations in Russia is “to solve the problems of the Azerbaijanis in Russia”, he does not explain how the wealthy Azerbaijanis, who had serious problems and had not sat for talks for many years, could suddenly come together. Disc of Telman Ismayilov’s jubilee was once a hit in Baku, of the Union’s founders only Abbas Abbasov attended the event, which is still spoken much about (?!). At first sight it seems to be insignificant, but this is reality – wealthy Azerbaijanis, whose ambitions prevented them from coming together at a birthday party, found strength to hold a meeting and establish an organization (and for the sake of the Azerbaijanis living in Russia). There must have been a very important reason for it. It would have seemed more sincere to hear not from Rustam Ibrahimbeyov, but from one of his film characters that this “very important reason” is “to solve the problems of the Azerbaijanis in Russia”...
Though Rustam Ibrahimbeyov attempts to prove the contrary, the way to own business and wealth in Russia is through the high-level patronage by the political government. The names of persons wishing to gain wealth in the neighboring country beyond the will of the political government are known: Khodorkovski, Berezovski, Gushinski… But their fate is also known! The Azerbaijani businessmen in Russia would not want to follow that fate. Therefore, it is undeniable that the known fates of Khodorkovski, Berezovski, Gushinski and the person, who prepared this fate for them, played a great role in the establishment of the Union of Azerbaijani Organizations in Russia… It is ridiculous even to try to prove the contrary.
If it were not so, the process would not have restarted, emissaries would not have been sent to Azerbaijan and the Union’s regional offices would not have opened in Russia, after the “oath of devotion” made by Abbas Abbasov, Soyun Sadigov and others. Even this process shows that “the decisions and fates of these oligarchs are not in their own hands”. So, it is not convincing that “they met to decide the fate of other Azerbaijanis in Russia”.
AND IN BAKU
It is possible to say that an attempt was made to start the process in the country, after Soyun Sadigov, one of the leading members of the organization founded in Russia and the person, whose duty is to be a special coordinator with the Kremlin, sent emissaries to Baku last week. Though Soyun Sadigov refutes it, the persons, who the emissaries sent to Baku met with, confirm it to media.
Moreover, the Forum of Intellectuals has become active as Rustam Ibrahimbeyov, who attended the constituent conference of the Union of Azerbaijani Organizations in Russia, returned to Baku. The Forum will reportedly start holding regular meetings late this month. They will reportedly issue various statements, support the Union’s initiatives on Russia’s increased role in the resolution of Nagorno Karabakh conflict.
MAJOR ISSUE: ENERGY SECURITY
How will the “cold war” end? The reasons are to bring Azerbaijan, the last post-Soviet country pursuing independent policy, under the influence of Russia, completely force out the West from the region, strengthen military and political claims in the region, or are there other reasons? The processes will show it, but the tension in Russia-Azerbaijan relations is not connected only with these factors. Russia wants to completely restore its lever of influence in the former USSR area, because after the Arab spring the Kremlin is losing its positions in Africa and Asia. Azerbaijan is seen as the only country, where Moscow can take revenge for the time being and strike a blow on the West. Because…
… Azerbaijan is the only country that can eliminate Europe’s energy dependence on Russia. At present, the West is assessing Azerbaijan from this point of view and the statements made on various levels focus on this. Azerbaijan’s energy policy also focuses on this, the main goal of various energy projects is to deliver the hydrocarbon resources of the Caspian Sea to the European markets. This is a successful policy, but at the same time it means Russia’s deprival of the important lever of influence on Europe. Control over energy sources has always been the major reason of conflicts all over the world. This is one of the reasons and maybe the first reason of the tension in Russia-Azerbaijan relations that seems to last long…
To achieve its goal, Russia manages to play everybody and everything: its outposts and the likes of “Khodorkovski”…
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