Our Analytics 31 august — 13:03

Will we return Karabakh with CSTO? (Our editorial)

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BY EYNULLA FATULLAYEV

Today we will talk about the immanent logic of the development of the historical process. No matter how we view the modern world, the development of society and the state cannot be studied in isolation from the general laws of historic development. More deeply you analyse contemporary political development, more strongly you come to the conclusion about the inexorability of the laws of history.

Again we are discussing the cyclicity and rotation of the historical process, considering it through the prism of Russian-Azerbaijani relations. No matter how much we extol the first Republic that transformed Azerbaijan from a geographical entity into a political category, the borders of the three South Caucasian republics, which got involved in internecine brutal wars, were recognised as conditional by the international community.

The borders of the first Republic of Azerbaijan, like its independence, were recognised by the Paris Peace Conference de facto. There was no question of legal recognition. And only the Sovietisation of Azerbaijan helped to protect and preserve many of our historical lands, on which the Muslim Turks lived compactly within the Azerbaijani state, the second Republic. The territorial dispute between Azerbaijan and the Ararat Republic (Armenia) was resolved in favour of the second Soviet Azerbaijan Republic. Karabakh, Nakhchivan and southern Zangezur (present-day Jabrayil, Gubadli, Zangelan districts) remained part of the Azerbaijani state formation. Can Sovietisation be considered colonisation? To some extent this was definitely the first-class, enlightened and progressive colonisation that gave us, in contrast to Iranian Azerbaijan, the scientific elite, symphony and ballet, literature and intelligentsia... The greatest socio-cultural renaissance, coupled with the first awareness of national statehood, is a powerful basis, on which to this day the third Azerbaijan Republic is based.

Thus, Sovietisation, in contrast to the tsarist period, cannot be perceived as classical Russification or colonisation, for if to be sincere to the end, the Russian people suffered the most from Sovietisation. That cannot be said about the national-cultural formations in the format of the former USSR.

Despite all the losses and shortcomings of the Soviet totalitarian system, Azerbaijan managed to solve two fundamental problems for a brief historical period: to defend the sought-after historical lands and to preserve formal, but state institutions.

Why have we returned to historical parallels again? Because the public discussion proposed by Azeri Daily around the idea of Azerbaijan's entry into the Collective Security Treaty Organisation has caused a stunning reaction not only inside the country, but also far beyond its borders.

Inside the country, reproaches arose, and from all sides: from Westerners and Pan-Turkists, Pan-Islamists and nationalists. They say, joining the CSTO, which the expert community often calls "Putin's NATO", will lead to neo-Sovietisation of Azerbaijan. But when an ordinary citizen is faced with a logical question: "And if this neo-Sovietisation leads to the return of historical lands?" then even this ordinary citizen moderates his/her ardour, for Karabakh remains the main value and national idea, suffered in a long struggle and a bloody war with Armenia. In Azerbaijan, many distort and misinterpret historical reality. After all, hundreds of thousands of Azerbaijanis in the distant 1988 did not take to the streets with slogans about independence and separation from the USSR and even not economic sovereignty, but with demands for the protection of Azerbaijanis subjected to persecution in Armenia and Karabakh. In Azerbaijan, unlike Georgia and the Baltic countries, it was the movement for Karabakh that has been transformed into a national liberation struggle. The platform of the national struggle was precisely Karabakh.

Often, from the lips of many representatives of the Azerbaijani society involved in public debates, which have been chaotically transferred to the social network, a seditious question is heard: "Can the CSTO limit the state sovereignty of Azerbaijan, but at the same time open the way for the return of Karabakh?" But we have already answered this in previous publications with a counter question: how much did the CSTO limit the sovereignty of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan or Belarus? And can you imagine an absolutely independent state in the modern global world that is not limited by the influence of military or political blocs and even transnational international organisations? The question is neither an idle one, nor a philosophical, but a political.

Official Yerevan was most zealous against the idea of Azerbaijan's entry into the CSTO. Another urgent question for our audience; would Yerevan have loudly condemned the idea of limiting the state sovereignty of Azerbaijan? The Armenian Foreign Ministry officially stated that Armenia would use its right of veto to prevent Azerbaijan from joining the CSTO.

Public discussions around Azerbaijan's entry into "Putin's NATO" caused panic in Pashinyan's government, although the Azerbaijani authorities still did not express their official point of view. The Armenian government, unlike the Azerbaijani Westerners and oppositionists, has realised the full scale of the danger, which will entail the accession of Azerbaijan, even as an observer partner, to the CSTO. After all, for Armenia, the idea of "miatsum" and Karabakh is a matter of self-reliance, feeling of one's own spiritual dignity. And the inevitable confrontation with Russia in the long run puts Nikol Pashinyan in the position of the last leader of the Ararat Republic, Garegin Nzhdeh, who almost a century ago retreated from Nakhchivan in August 1920 under the onslaught of joint units of the Russian and Azerbaijani armies. And after Azerbaijan's accession to the CSTO, we will be very close to repeating this historical situation.

Armenia's concern is increasing day by day, for immediately after the start of our public discussions and a loud statement by the Chairman of the Milli Majlis Committee on Legal Issues, Ali Huseynli, consultations began in the CSTO Secretariat on the development of a new legal status for the observer countries and partners in the CSTO. Apparently, this turn of events violated the plans of the Soros supervisors of Pashinyan's government. Undoubtedly, the Armenian Foreign Ministry issued a statement on the obstruction of Azerbaijan's membership in the CSTO after consultations with its Western partners. After the accession of Azerbaijan to "Putin's NATO," Armenia will lose its last security belt.

The question arises, how great are Armenia's chances of vetoing Azerbaijan's entry into the CSTO? Of course, after the arrest of the CSTO Secretary General, Yuri Khachaturov and public humiliation of the influential regional military-political bloc, Yerevan's voice in Moscow will not be heard. Who will hear the Pashinyan's government, if military and political integration with Russia is being actively considered in Azerbaijan, and in Yerevan they demand removal of Russian troops and border guards, release from prison the terrorists from the Sasna Tsrer organisation, which started an open struggle against the military-political presence of Russia in the country.

Armenia challenges Russia. And these public insults in no way remain unanswered. Armenia is moving confidently towards a civil confrontation, political crash and social collapse. The Armenian government deliberately prevents the expansion of the pro-Russian military-political bloc. And in Moscow, of course, this is perceived as a frank betrayal of the allied idea.

So, we are on the eve of a fateful historic decision, since the demarche of Yerevan is another important argument in favour of Azerbaijan's entry into the CSTO. Azerbaijan is simply obliged to take advantage of the historic chance that has fallen and deprive Armenia of the last hope for the annexation of our historical lands...

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