Our Analytics 11 july — 12:39

Azerbaijani hospitality as factor of international security (Results with Azeri Daily)



Yesterday, on 10 July, Baku hosted a meeting between Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Army General Valery Gerasimov and the NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Tod Wolters.

Superpower commanders at Heydar Aliyev Centre

A few hours later from the official reports it became absolutely clear that this meeting was of a purely technical nature. That, in general, was indirectly confirmed by the world mass media either by fitting the information in two or three short paragraphs, or by ignoring this event altogether.

The atmosphere, which prevailed at this event, is very eloquently evidenced by a protocol photo, in which two top military leaders are depicted: the impression is that they avoid approaching each other closer than a metre.

And although, according to the same official statements, such hot topics as Afghanistan and Syria were discussed during the meeting between Gerasimov and Wolters, the only agreement was to 'continue the practice of such meetings' on the hospitable land of Azerbaijan, which more and more often becomes a place of important events affecting the interests of the entire international community.

But more about that below, but for now let us return to the generals' meeting. The main conclusion that should be drawn from it is that any partnership between the United States and Russia in the hot spots of the world in the near future is out of the question: the approaches of Washington and Moscow are too different on most topics where their interests collide.

No, we are not talking about the classic 'cold war,' in which two different systems confront each other, and the contradictions of the parties are antagonistic in nature, as had been the case in the past century between the USA and the USSR. The current conflict between Washington and Moscow is a struggle for the redistribution of established spheres of influence. Russia is trying to expand them, to achieve the right to project its power into the territories that are sometimes thousands of kilometres away from it. Accompanying this, of course, with promoting the interests of their corporations. The USA, of course, opposes this.

Almost as in times of the USSR and the USA

And the only thing that the parties can now agree on is that their confrontation remains indirect, without the direct and large-scale participation of the armed forces of the two states in it. Their 'proxies,' having a different foreign policy orientation, can fight each other without any restrictions. Employees of private military companies may converge in armed clashes. But regular units of the armed forces of both Russia and the United States should not do this under any circumstances.

In addition, it is highly desirable to reach an agreement that these same proxies should avoid attacks on the military personnel of the two countries or declare a hunt for them. They could never achieve full order in this matter, and everything happened with considerable blood too: but they always try to agree on minimising the damage from such incidents.

Such are the rules of the 'new world' that has suddenly come about in the current millennium, which have not yet been definitively fixed, but are constantly being worked on, including at such generals' meetings.

Syria discussed in this context is more than relevant, because today there the American and Russian military personnel are literally face to face with each other, and each side has enough armed 'proxies,' who are ready to cut each other with enthusiasm at any time of day and at any time of the year. In addition, the American and Russian contingents in Syria have in their arsenal the most sophisticated weapons systems: some have air defence systems, others have aircraft and so on, which increases the likelihood, as they used to say, of 'annoying but inevitable accidents.'

In addition, Washington and Moscow in Syria have a common irritating factor: the Iranian presence, which both sides would like to cut down, and even better eliminate completely. While things are not quite right with this, how to achieve this with minimal costs is absolutely not clear to anyone, but consultations on this topic are also taking place at the political level, and, as it was yesterday in Baku, at the level of military leadership of external system players in the Syrian conflict.

With Afghanistan, which was also on the agenda of the consultations of Gerasimov and Wolters, the situation is somewhat different. It must be said bluntly: the Americans do not consider Moscow to be a serious player in this country, even if the Russian side is trying to demonstrate the opposite, inviting the Taliban, or convening international conferences on this topic.

American troops in Afghanistan

Moreover, the other day the United States in a very demonstrative way, on the verge of abusive neglect, once again demonstrated this: as soon as real progress was made at negotiations with the Taliban in the Qatar capital, the US special envoy for Afghan reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad immediately rushed to Beijing. Thus, making it clear whom the Americans really consider an equal systemic player in this matter.

Therefore, the 'discussion' of Afghanistan in Baku would be more correctly called in official reports as follows: 'the American side informed the Russian side about the current situation in Afghanistan and about measures to resolve the conflict in this country.' Let it be as vague and streamlined as a 'discussion,' but more accurately conveys the essence.

Well, another aspect of the meeting, which is absolutely necessary to mention. Baku has become a place where the dialogues of the American and Russian military occur regularly. Without going into details -- we shall note only that two more capitals of the states of the former Soviet Union claimed the role of the host of such an event -- this is recognition of the growing authority of Azerbaijan in the international arena. Confirmation that the republic is able to act not just as a venue for major events -- tables were laid, a cultural program was organised -- but also a moderator of dialogues at the highest level.

President Aliyev receives Valery Gerasimov

President Aliyev receives Tod Wolters

The world undoubtedly noticed and appreciated this. Therefore, it is quite likely that the 'Baku format' will appear soon. It doesn't matter to decide which urgent international topic it will arise. It is important that it will be. We can congratulate the capital of Azerbaijan and the leadership of the republic right now.

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