Our Analytics 14 december — 11:22

Ilham Aliyev's greatest success: Brussels says Karabakh can only be part of Azerbaijan



On December 12, at the last plenary session of the outgoing year, the European Parliament (EP), by an overwhelming majority (401 in favour and 173 against) adopted a resolution 'Annual report on the implementation of the common foreign and security policy.' The document is among the most important of those adopted by EP at the last session.

The draft resolution was presented to the European Parliament by the Chairman of the Committee on International Affairs David MacAllister and Vice-President of the European Commission, EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Federica Mogherini. The document is of a doctrinal nature, summarising the foreign policy over the past year and defining its main priorities for the future, and is legally binding for all institutions and EU countries.

A similar document last year stated that conflicts in the territory of the Eastern Partnership countries (EaP), including Azerbaijan, should be resolved only on the basis of international legal norms and principles of sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and inviolability of internationally recognised borders. Being a logical legislative development of the 2017 Eastern Partnership Brussels Summit Declaration, this article of the resolution defined the framework for resolving conflicts in four of the six Eastern Partnership countries. Numerous attempts of the Armenian side to exclude this provision from the text or to supplement the fundamental principles with the 'right of nations to self-determination' failed completely.

The 2017 resolution became the legal basis for preparing and signing of the 'Partnership Priorities' document between the EU and Azerbaijan in 2018. For the first time in a bilateral agreement between the EU and Azerbaijan, it was fixed that their relations will develop on the basis of mutual support of sovereignty, territorial integrity, and the principle of inviolability of international borders. That is, if in December 2017, the principle of the inviolability of international borders was spoken in relation to all the EaP countries, then in July 2018 the focus was exclusively on Azerbaijan. And it completely refutes the speculations of the representatives of the Armenian public that the principles of international law are being prepared for EU assessments regarding only Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, and Azerbaijan, they say, artificially took advantage of the situation.

The current resolution of the European Parliament once again rejects the possibility of any new manipulations of the Armenian side on this issue. The document reaffirms the obligations of the EU to support the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of partners, emphasises the need to resolve all frozen conflicts based on the norms and principles of international law, strengthen support for citizens of these countries - internally displaced persons and refugees suffering from conflicts.

At the same time, Brussels showed at least three new political trends.

First, it is a clear approach of all EU institutions to the hierarchy of principles of international law. Starting from the 2017 Eastern Partnership Summit in all documents of all EU institutions, support for the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of partners, the inviolability of their international borders is both the basis of EU relations with the EaP countries and the main principles for resolving conflicts in their territory.

All the efforts of the Armenian government to designate the 'right of nations to self-determination' as a position equivalent to the four fundamental principles for the EU, faced with unequivocal disagreement of Brussels. The last such attempt was made during the discussion of the current resolution of the European Parliament. The proposal of an MEP, leader of the pro-fascist 'Alternative for Germany' Jörg Meuthen to include in the document an item on 'respect for the self-determination of nations' failed with a crushing vote for Armenia - 522 against, with only 88 for votes of pro-Armenian MEPs.

If this decision were the first precedent, this political assessment could be regarded as a temporary failure of the Armenian government. But when the definition is used systematically for quite a long time, this is an established trend, or rather, a generally accepted standard on which all subsequent settlement principles will be built.

Second, the EU unequivocally and finally abandoned the division of partners into 'our own' and 'alien' in matters of supporting the territorial integrity and inviolability of international borders. A return to the Riga Summit of 2015, when these principles were used only for conflicts in Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, can no longer be. The EU’s attitude towards all conflicts is integral, unified and sustainable.

Third, such an obvious position of the European Union, stated in the declaration of the Eastern Partnership Summit, the two doctrinal resolutions of the European Parliament and the bilateral document of Azerbaijan and the EU, effectively nullified the powerful and once productive activities of the Armenian lobbying organisations in Brussels. The Armenian press itself recognises this. Thus, the media portal 'First Armenian Informational' in the material of November 17 of this year directly indicates a serious crisis in the key lobbying organisation European Friends of Armenia (EuFoA). This and two other Armenian lobbying associations, also accredited in the EU, try to justify the absence of any real achievements by the lack of financial resources and personnel. Or 'compensate' by holding one-time type events in Brussels with the participation of marginal deputies.

The former lobbying methodology is no longer working. The formulations recorded in recent documents is an absolute victory of the foreign policy strategy of President Ilham Aliyev. Azerbaijan, which the European puppets of official Yerevan accused almost of 'bribing the whole of Europe,' has achieved a qualitatively new level of realisation of its national interests over the past year, without spending a cent on lobbying. In contrast, by the way, to the Armenian lobbyists like Karampetyan, whose millions of injections into pro-Armenian actions in Brussels did not yield any tangible results. Lobbyists could not achieve the desired, even in those fields where they were previously quite successful. For example, despite the colossal efforts, they could not push through references to Azerbaijan among the 'not free' states into the annual resolution of the EP 'Annual report on human rights and democracy in the world 2017 and the European Union’s policy on the matter,' adopted on December 12. And this is despite the fact that the keynote speaker and the author of the draft resolution was one of the most anti-Azerbaijani MEPs Petras Auštrevičius.

Recall that it was precisely this deputy who employed as adviser one Renatas Juška, who had been recalled from the post of Lithuanian ambassador to Hungary for racist anti-Azerbaijani statements on the settlement of the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

As a result of meticulous, well-considered, systematic and active diplomatic actions, Azerbaijan achieved the largest foreign policy victory in the political field of the European Union. And that is the result of a targeted and calculated foreign policy strategy. The new strategy of Ilham Aliyev was built after the crisis in relations with Brussels in 2012-2015, when the Azerbaijani government faced the notorious policy of double standards of the previous EU leadership. And the new policy was based on a conceptual program for the realisation of the national interests of the state in the European fields of political battles.

Finally, the long-awaited result of the fateful diplomatic struggle came. Brussels declares: the Karabakh settlement is possible only in the format of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.

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