Azerbaijan’s path towards complete restoration of sovereignty, Russia’s ultimatum and France’s panic
    Weekly review

    ANALYTICS  16 June 2024 - 11:51

    Murad Abiyev
    Caliber.Az

    Caliber.Az has prepared another episode of the “Events” (Sobitiya) show with Azerbaijani political analyst Murad Abiyev about the main news of the week related to Azerbaijan and other countries.

    AZERBAIJAN – ARMENIA

    June 15 is a significant date in Azerbaijan due to National Salvation Day and the third anniversary of the signing of the Shusha Declaration.

    Azerbaijani national leader Heydar Aliyev returned to power on June 15, 1993.

    This date marked the beginning of the creation of modern Azerbaijani statehood, the main point of which was the glorious victory in the 44-day second Karabakh war, the liberation of the occupied territories and the complete restoration of Azerbaijan's sovereignty.

    It is symbolic that President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of Türkiye Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a Declaration on Allied Relations on June 15, 2021, less than a year after the great victory in liberated Shusha.

    The declaration includes a number of vital issues, including political, economic, trade, humanitarian relations, energy security, cooperation in the defense industry and, in particular, military cooperation and mutual military assistance.

    June 15, 2021 was the day when the long-term aspirations of the two fraternal peoples came true. The relations between Azerbaijan and Türkiye reached the historical peak of alliance.

    President Aliyev paid a working visit to fraternal Türkiye in early June.

    During the meeting in Ankara, the leaders of the two countries discussed the expansion of energy, transport, economic and trade ties between the two countries, the cooperation issues in defense, military-industrial and other spheres, and emphasised the importance of the joint activity of the two countries to develop the Middle Corridor.

    The Russian peacekeeping contingent temporarily stationed on the Azerbaijani territory after the second Karabakh fully withdrew on June 12.

    This is a good answer to those who speculated on the topic of the supposedly eternal presence of the Russian troops in Azerbaijan.

    The protests are underway in Armenia again. There were fewer people than before, but there was much more aggression.

    The protesters tried to break through the police cordon guarding the territory of the parliament, when the parliamentary session was held with Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan.

    During the dispersal of the rally, about 100 people were slightly injured. Obviously, the opposition wants more blood, more people to be killed to raise their bodies as a banner of popular indignation.

    Although Pashinyan’s actions look quite confident, he nevertheless continues voicing harsh rhetoric against Russia.

    During the governmental session, Pashinyan made a statement that Armenia would leave the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO), although he did not mention a specific date.

    However, later Pashinyan said that he would not visit Belarus while Alexander Lukashenko is its president.

    The officials of Belarus understand Pashinyan’s position because the reaction was friendly. Indeed, Pashinyan’s statements are addressed to the domestic audience rather than to Russia and Belarus to show his commitment to the Western policy amid the protests.

    After two months of a quiet situation on the border, the positions of the Azerbaijani army in the Nakhchivan direction were fired by Armenia for two days in a row.

    It is unclear whether this was carried out upon Pashinyan’s order or against him to cast a shadow on the border delimitation and intensify the protests.

    If so, then this is a very alarming signal that the positions of the Karabakh clan are still strong in the Armenian army. In this case, it is possible to talk about the risk of serious clashes between different security forces in Armenia.

    Obviously realising the situation, Pashinyan has recently said that Yerevan does not plan to revise the constitution at Baku's request.

    The main point here is “at Baku’s request”. It is possible to find numerous different reasons, the main thing is to change the constitution properly.

    If the claims against Azerbaijan remain, then there will be no peace. For almost 30 years the Azerbaijani people lived not only without peace, but also without 20 per cent of the Azerbaijani territories.

    After the territories were returned, living without peace is not a big problem. Azerbaijan is entering this period with more international influence, including participation in regional projects. However, Armenia will have to continue living in isolation.

    Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov said that the continuing claims to the Azerbaijani territorial integrity in the Armenian Constitution are an obstacle to the signing of a peace agreement. Bayramov made these remarks during a meeting with his German colleague Annalena Baerbock as part of his working visit to Germany.

    It would be good if the West enlightened Yerevan regarding the respect for the territorial integrity of its neighbouring countries.

    It is time for Western diplomats, if they want to help establish peace in the South Caucasus, to concentrate on real problems, rather than to express concern about the far-fetched dramas of the Armenian people.

    UKRAINE RUSSIA

    Russian troops continue their offensive in Ukraine. The information went viral that several villages were occupied in Pokrovsk, former Avdiivka.

    The Russian army also launched an offensive in the Sumy region, apparently pursuing the same goal as near Kharkiv - to divert units of the Ukrainian Armed Forces from other, more strategically important areas, among which is Pokrovsk.

    President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy attended the G7 summit in Italy.

    The G7 countries called on Russia to compensate for the damage to Ukraine, which is estimated by the World Bank at $486 billion, and also pledged to provide Kyiv with a $50 billion loan in the form of profit consisting of frozen Russian assets worth $300 billion.

    Among the bonuses acquired by Kyiv is a security agreement with the US and Japan. The US is committed to assisting Ukraine with long-term arms supplies, military training, and consultations.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, during a speech to Russian diplomats, announced new conditions for peace with Ukraine.

    President Putin noted that Kyiv must withdraw troops from Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson, abandon the plans to join NATO, have a “neutral, non-aligned, nuclear-free status”, ensure the rights of Russian people, undergo “denazification” and “demilitarisation” and accept “new territorial realities".

    The peaceful settlement of the conflict must be outlined in international treaties, and all sanctions imposed on Russia must be lifted. In this case, President Putin assured that the conflict in Ukraine will be finally resolved rather than remain frozen.

    These conditions actually put an end to speculation regarding the prospects for the speedy peace and truce.

    President Putin understands that a truce is more beneficial for Ukraine because the situation in the Ukrainian Armed Forces is critical, and it is unprofitable to give them a chance for a break.

    Obviously, the Russian leadership believes that now is the favourable moment when Western assistance does not keep up with the capabilities of the Russian army, and a decisive blow can be delivered. We will see soon whether this is true.

    President Putin delivered his speech without waiting for the results of the Swiss-hosted Ukraine Peace Summit  in Lucerne, either showing that he did not notice it at all, or warning the consolidation of the Global South defending Ukraine.

    So, the new round of confrontation between Russia and the West before the Olympics in Paris could not be stopped. Perhaps, the new time frame will be November, when the US elections will be held.

    MIDDLE EAST

    The Israeli army continues its ground operation in Rafah. One of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's striking achievements was the operation to free four hostages in Nuseirat refugee camp on June 8. This success increased the Israelis' shaky confidence in their prime minister.

    Biden’s plan for a ceasefire was unclear for the sides, despite this topic was raised by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who has recently made another Middle East tour.

    The Israeli side pretended to agree by reserving the right to act at its own discretion.

    Hamas, in turn, put forward a number of conditions unacceptable to Israel.

    Among them are the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Philadelphia corridor, the immediate restoration of Gaza in the first stage of the deal, a complete end to the war and a number of other demands for the release of Palestinian prisoners of war.

    Hamas actually demands Israel's surrender and the preservation of its power in the Gaza Strip.

    So, the war in Gaza continues, and Israel’s situation is aggravated by the constant shelling of the north area by Hezbollah.

    The international pressure on Israel is growing again.

    An investigation by a UN independent international commission concluded that war crimes were committed by both Israeli and Palestinian armed groups.

    This factor and others show that the international community is close to legitimising Hamas. In any case, Hamas was never called a terrorist group in the report.

    EUROPE

    The elections to the European Parliament have ended, as a result of which centrist forces retained their majority.

    However, the real surprise was the significant increase in the share of far-right factions.

    Moreover, right-wing forces gained a victory in Germany and France.

    This forced French President Emmanuel Macron to dissolve the National Assembly and set the snap parliamentary elections for the end of June.

    Macron obviously hopes that the liberal and centrist-oriented part of society will unite in such dramatic conditions and provide him with several more years of power.

    However, the representatives of right parties may have a majority in the French parliament.

    US

    There is a real thriller in the US on the eve of the elections.

    The New York jury found US ex-president Donald Trump guilty while another jury in Delaware found Hunter Biden, the son of the incumbent president, guilty (possession of a weapon by a drug addict).

    As opposed to Trump, he may face 25 years of imprisonment rather than 100 years of imprisonment which Trump may face. However, 25 years is also a long period and could become a serious trauma not only for Hunter, but also for President Biden.

    However, political considerations prevailed, and President Biden said that he respected the court's decision and would not sign a decree pardoning his son.

    Caliber.Az

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