Our Analytics 23 october — 15:47

Russian Kommersant looking for Panama Papers in Baku (Our editorial)

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BY EYNULLA FATULLAYEV

From the capitals and from the pages

They continue to shoot at Azerbaijan. They shoot from different capitals and from the pages of well-known and quite respectable Western publications. There is a strange feeling that some invisible and deeply conspiratorized echeloned political force, using any occuring international scandal or geopolitical collision, weaves a pre-developed charge against official Baku.

It would seem, what relation could Azerbaijan have to the grandiose global scandal in Malta after the murder of the famous journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia? But no! The Russian newspaper Kommersant (The Businessman), positioning itself in the role of the voice of Russian liberalism, saw in the murder of Galizia a "trace of Azerbaijani corruption."

And for some reason, the Western media, which are under the control of Russian liberal-oligarchic circles, mainly voice one version: Galizia's investigation of the so-called "Azerbaijani episode" in the Panama Papers.

Treacherous murder of Galizia

What does Azerbaijan have to do with it?

Yes, the Malta Independent reporter, Daphne Caruana Galizia was investigating the so-called Panama Papers within the framework of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) Project, and her high-profile anti-corruption articles, affecting the interests of many governments, heads of state and their families, influential oligarchs and corporate leaders, caused a wide response all over the world. By the way, a KGB officer in reserve, Alexander Lebedev himself with Novaya Gazeta was spotted in the project of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and OCCRP (Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project). The officer of the Foreign Intelligence Service Lebedev worked for a long time under the diplomatic cover in London, and years later he left for the liberal camp, became one of the richest Russian billionaires, again went to London, this time in the person of a respectable owner of the two largest British publications - The Independent and The Evening Standard.

Literally in unison with the Russian media, the British publications of the professional Soviet spy, whic told about the murder of the Maltese journalist, focused their attention on the barely noticeable Azerbaijani episode of the Panama Papers, although the loud and diverse investigations of the murdered Daphne concerned the interests of many heads of state: from the PRC president to the president of Ukraine, from the president of Russia to the prime minister of Great Britain, from the king of Saudi Arabia to the king of Morocco, from the prime minister of Malta itself to the leader of the opposition of this country... What to say, if in that global offshore garbage bin were found companies and accounts of Lebedev himself.

Then, why Azerbaijan? Why deliberately focus on Azerbaijan and attract the attention of world public opinion, if Daphne herself, shortly before her murder, accused the leader of the Maltese opposition of relations with the Italian mafia, after which she received real threats on her WhatsApp, wbout which she notified the police!

Indeed, well-known investigative journalist Giuliano Foschini from the influential Italian newspaper La Repubblica wrote plainly: "There is a route that begins in Libya, passes through Malta and reaches Italy. It can be the key to the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia. On this route drugs, oil, prostitutes are trafficked, and, first of all, money - the source of vitality of the treasure island."

And Daphne's son - another participant of the high-profile investigations - accused the incumbent prime minister of Malta of murdering his mother!

Where is Azerbaijan here?

But Russian publishers do not notice all these facts. Either at the instigation of their patrons, or on their own prejudice, they deliberately fan the so-called "Azerbaijani episode" in the Panama case.

Businessman Usmanov

On October 17, the newspaper of another Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov, Kommersant (The Businessman), broke out an article entitled "The Panama archive exploded in Malta." Of course, Kommersant did not notice a whole pile of compromising materials among Panama Papers on its owner, the Russian oligarch of Uzbek origin, seizing on dubious moments, where Azerbaijan, the United Arab Emirates and, for some reason, the states of Eastern Europe appear.

Alisher Usmanov newspaper, whom in 2007 the British Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray publicly called "gangster, racketeer, heroin trafficker and rapist, who served 6 years in Uzbek prison," dares to present fictional corruption schemes in some countries, including in Azerbaijan, as a really functioning system. At the same time, Usmanov's journalists often use the terms "corrupt officials from Azerbaijan", "Azerbaijani caviar diplomacy" and sometimes resort to threats, assuring the readers that "the corruption schemes of Azerbaijan have not reached the judicial stage of the investigation yet"! Don't the Russian journalists know that most of the Panama Papers scandalous materials are devoted to corruption in Russia, the unofficial presence of Russian money in China and Taiwan, shadow deals with companies in Europe and so on? What does "caviar diplomacy" have to do with the Panama Papers?

Alisher Usmanov, the sole owner of Kommersant

However, Kommersant in its article only in two places, accidentally, superficially, using inoffensive vocabulary, mentions some ephemeral Russian officials and civil servants. In the case of Russia, there is no need to inflate any corruption scandal, it is enough just to reprint some dossiers on representatives of the highest echelon of power. But the Azerbaijani media do not do this! What do the media and newspapers in Russia, close to the powerful oligarchs, do? Focus on Azerbaijan alone!

Maybe, Kommersant still has to carefully study the Panama Papers, having dealt with the big burden of problems in its own country, without throwing thoughtlessly and in vain energy on Azerbaijan?

Too often, recently, poisonous libels against Azerbaijan in the leading Russian media, as well as newspapers controlled by Russian oligarchs in the West, began to appear. From the analysis of all the biased information recently disseminated, especially in the light of what was stated in Kommersant and absolutely unconfirmed, it is already certain that false and fictitious reports about a transfer of money by a firm belonging to the daughter of the president of Azerbaijan clearly show the obvious and, perhaps, an unseemly picture: certain circles in Russia deliberately and purposefully discredit the ruling elite of Azerbaijan.

These very circles, through Lebedev's publications and other Western newspapers, are launching a large-scale campaign against Azerbaijan. But this contradicts the very spirit of the strategic partnership between Russia and Azerbaijan, announced by the presidents of the two countries! Official Baku already knows who and why implements this campaign and why at every opportunity arrows are pointed at Azerbaijan.

Another shot

Pay attention, after the shots from Kommersant, almost immediately another official website, www.inosmi.ru, belonging to the media group "Russia Today," showed a genuine interest in the article in the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten entitled "Jagland was warned for many years about corruption in the Council of Europe." In the article, Arif Mammadov, the former ambassador of Azerbaijan to the Council of Europe, and in the past a graduate of the Military Institute of the Ministry of Defence of the USSR (the so-called school of the Main Intelligence Directorate, GRU), tells how during his diplomatic work for a long time he held secret meetings with the secretary general of the Council of Europe and leaked to him facts about the situation in Baku.

Former ambassador Arif Mammadov leaked information to secretary general for 10 years

A single logical chain, a clear mosaic of organized persecution and a campaign of denigrating a particular country, is formed by gathering fakes and insinuations, shots and discrediting scattered bit by bit throughout the world media.

To all other things, Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland, who has abandoned all efforts to return Russia to PACE, with the same enthusiasm is expanding the campaign of discrediting Azerbaijan in European institutions. Although, according to the overwhelming majority of Western human rights NGOs, human rights problems in Azerbaijan are quite solvable and are being solved.

It turns out that Jagland fulfills the task set for him - to spoil relations between Azerbaijan and Europe and the West as quickly and as much as possible.

It is very strange, but on the same day, when Kommersant, the Russian website and other publications of Russian oligarchs preferred to single out a special "Azerbaijani episode" in the light of the murder of Daphne, on his Facebook page Thorbjørn Jagland highlighted the "Azerbaijani episode" as well.

Is Jagland an agent under the pseudonym "Yuri"?

At one time, Russian fighters of the invisible front - colleagues of the Soviet intelligence officer Lebedev - successfully recruited prospective, beginning European politicians. Needless to say, if in the middle of the 2000s, a known researcher of the Soviet special services in the West, Italian investigator Mario Scaramella accused Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi, who currently holds the post of special envoy of the UN Secretary General, of relations with the KGB of the USSR. Prodi has not been able to clean up until now, and almost fled from Italian politics.

But the KGB of the USSR was especially active in the Scandinavian countries, particularly in Norway, where leftist ideas were traditionally popular. For example, in 2009, the legendary Swedish journalist, Jan Guillou openly admitted that in the 1960s he wrote paid articles commissioned by the KGB. Soviet spies felt themselves at ease in the Scandinavian countries, where leftist ideas were very popular. Tentacles of Soviet intelligence included at least two of the future Norwegian prime ministers. In the smithy of Soviet intelligence agencies, the formation of left-wing commissars, who came into conflict with the North Atlantic system, was going on.

After the escape from the USSR of the valuable agent, Colonel Gordievsky was received by President Reagan

One of them was Thorbjørn Jagland. In the mid-1990s, the Soviet defector, Colonel of the First Main Directorate of the KGB of the USSR Oleg Gordievsky (secretly worked for British intelligence from 1974 to 1985) gave very important testimony in the case of Thorbjørn Jagland. Gordievsky assured that Jagland exchanged information with the KGB of the USSR. Was Jagland acting under the pseudonym "Yuri" according to the information that was trustworthy?

Who can guarantee that Jagland does not exchange information with his employers today too?

Jagland, who, according to Colonel Gordievsky, exchanged important operational information with the KGB, with his own hands burns the lasting bridges of Azerbaijan's cooperation with the European community. If the secretary general does not stop, it seems that he will achieve his goal, successfully fulfilling the mission entrusted to him. Until it's not too late! And official Baku is in anticipation of the prompt and urgent steps and measures by the leaders of the European institutions...

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