By Trey Blanton, Stepanakert, Artsakh, (Christians In Need Foundation), 20 July 2022
With hat in her hand, President of the European Commision (EC) Ursula von der Leyen celebrated a partnership agreement on July 18 with despotic Azerbaijan. The EC president represented Europe at a meeting with President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan. The pair agreed to an energy deal which would see Azerbaijan increase oil sells to the European Union to offset Europe’s losses due to boycotting Russian oil.
Energy experts warn, however, that Azerbaijan currently lacks the ability to offset Russian oil. The Azeris currently transport ten billion cubic meters of gas to Europe, while Russia – prior to its invasion of Ukraine – shipped 185 billion cubic meters.
Azerbaijan’s oil and gas industry is controlled by the state – read the Aliyev dynasty. Russia, however, has small investments in its operations. Any agreement between the E.U. and Azerbaijan, would necessitate a multi-billion-dollar investment from the West.
In the meantime, oil will continue to flow from Russia into Europe, but the European elite can pretend to the press that they are taking a hard stand against the Russian boogeyman, Vladimir Putin.
The reality is that many in Europe and the United States either fail to understand the complex geo-political games at work or are willingly choosing to support the jihadist regime in Azerbaijan. Ostensibly, Azerbaijan is a secular nation, but the majority Muslim populace cuts deep into the psyche governing their actions. Azerbaijan and their NATO-partner, Turkey, actively recruited Syrian and Libyan jihadists to attack the Christian Armenians in the Republic of Artsakh, also known as Nagorno-Karabakh.
In a commentary piece, a researcher for the Heritage Foundation encourages an increased American alliance with Azerbaijan. The writer relies on a general statement by Secretary of State Antony Blinken to say, “Over the past three decades, since Azerbaijan’s independence from the Soviet Union, the U.S.-Azerbaijan relationship has grown comprehensively in advancing energy security in Europe, combating transnational threats ….”
Neither Secretary Blinken, nor the writer, offer an example of the numerous transnational threats Azerbaijan has combated, and actively ignore the Turkish-Azeri assault on Armenians.
The article continues, celebrating von der Leyen’s agreement with Azerbaijan to double gas exports to Europe, which Russia and Azerbaijan had already agreed, in 2021, to allow to happen.
It is only speculation but, perhaps, some analysts in the United States feel Azerbaijan is a weaker entity than Russia and can be more easily countered than Russia. This would, in theory, be an attractive appeal to invest billions of dollars into Azerbaijan.
This short-sighted view ignores the reality in the Caucasus and Middle East.
The leaders of Turkey and Iran met on Monday, with Putin arriving Tuesday, to discuss items of importance, mainly Syria.
Turkey’s President Recep Erdogan and Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi, discussed Erdogan’s role in Azerbaijan’s 2020 attack on the Republic of Artsakh, with Raisi “welcoming” the conquest of part of Artsakh by Azerbaijan.
Ursula von der Leyen and Ilham Aliyev
This is concerning to Armenians, who view Iran as an ally in preventing Azerbaijan from attacking. Raisi did assure Erdogan, though, that he would not tolerate any map change which would cut Iran off from Armenia.
The U.S. has consistently treated Israel as a valued ally, with Democrat exceptions, like President Biden who, last week, equated the Israeli-Palestinian situation to Great Britain’s inhumane treatment of Catholics in Northern Ireland.
This partnership between U.S. and Israel may signal why Americans have not called for an accounting of Israel’s Defense industry, who sells weapons parts to Azerbaijan, which were then used by Azerbaijan to attack Artsakh.
Israel and Azerbaijan have a strategic partnership, owing to the Azeris sharing a border with Iran, which allows Israel to conduct intelligence operations into Iran.
The sticky morass of alliances and back-stabbing shows Americans should withdraw support from both Turkey and Azerbaijan.
Turkey has long played both the U.S. and Russia to improve its own objectives, which undermine Turkey’s status as a supposed NATO ally.
Rather than invest in Azerbaijan for oil and gas, the United States should tap into its own vast stores to solve the energy crisis in America and Europe.
Energy independence would allow the West to address the human rights violations committed by Azerbaijan, as well as improve the nation’s poor democratic record. Ilham Aliyev’s father was a KGB agent who became Azerbaijan’s first president after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
Malta Today, “Ursula goes to Baku”
The Aliyevs have enriched themselves over the past two decades to maintain a stranglehold on power. The term “caviar diplomacy” has been widely attributed to Azerbaijan who bribes many politicians and so-called experts to promote pro-Azeri policies.
During the rise of the Ottoman Empire, the mercantile city-states of Italy and other countries in Europe preferred economic trade with Ottoman Turks, who spent hundreds of years raping, enslaving, and killing millions of Christians.
The descendants of the Ottoman state, Turkey and Azerbaijan, are all too willing to lie to the West to gain power and continue their genocide of Christian Armenians and Greeks.