Our Analytics 9 november — 11:33

Axial age of Azerbaijan after victory in Karabakh (Editorial)

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Victory in the second Karabakh war became a truly historic event of enormous magnitude in the development of the third Azerbaijan Republic, which was born on the remnants of the collapse of the Soviet Union. If we look retrospectively, in the modern history of Azerbaijan there have been no such large-scale manifestations, comparable to the religious and mystical revelation for the entire people.

Azerbaijanis defeated not so much the enemy as myths woven by the losses of the past 30 years

Perhaps the involvement of all Azerbaijanis of another fateful period in the victory of the Soviet people in the Great Patriotic War could be considered an exception. But at that time, it was the story of a different, superpower national synthesis, the industrial-ideological age of the transformation of large empires. The Azerbaijanis were forging the common frame of this mighty structure.

But now, this victory is the Victory of a single nation. The Nation of Azerbaijanis, which defeated not so much the demoralised enemy, who fled from the battlefield, as the myths woven by the losses of the last thirty years: 'they cannot', 'they do not want', 'they will not.' This is no less overcoming oneself, going beyond the limits of the known, than even the heroic feat of warriors: the living and the fallen. Now the whole world knows that the Azerbaijanis can, they want, they achieve.

In other words, they set goals, they have the will, they find solutions.

The event of the Azerbaijani Victory is the rarest in the modern political world, where great powers and corporations rule the ball. Where there are two extremes: either the current sluggish struggle of resources to maintain the status quo, or adjusting to the interests of large centres of power.

Ilham Aliyev played differently

Ilham Aliyev played differently. By betting on the courage of his fighters.

Some analysts and commentators of the world media playing 'objectivity' still ignore the fact of the increased might of Azerbaijanis, the transition of the people to a new state of the nation, making allowances for the assistance of the Turkish military industry and the experience of advisers. Yes, there is no doubt that the help was worth a lot, and was promptly provided by the fraternal Turkish state. But this is only a lever in the hands of the brave and strong. In the hands of the rank and file, officers, the political leadership and the elite of the country, which has stood together with its people in one close-knit row.

Such events are reminiscent of the European revolutions of the 19th-20th centuries, when not so much regimes changed, but approaches and worldviews. From now on, the worldview of Azerbaijanis is free from oppression by losses.

This is a new nation that has already made with Ilham Aliyev the way to this summit.

Victory did not fall from the sky. This is the result of a long and painstaking work of two decades of Ilham Aliyev's leadership.

Now the country is moving towards new horizons.

This move will not be easy, given that the roaring 2020s will pass the baton to the roaring 2030s. The new rules of the game, which began to take shape during the pandemic, can bring new challenges to the nation state.

Digital platforms and new corporations claim to alienate former rights and privileges from the traditional state, taking away meanings from traditional elites, from raw capital, ambitions and reserves.

Azerbaijan will face new challenges of preserving not just traditions and culture, but the very concept of national sovereignty. A completely new and unknown challenge is when risks come not from neighbours, but from the very course of global history.

It is in this regime that Karabakh will have to be restored, included into the economic system of the Azerbaijani state. However, this too will be resolved, and the challenges will found the best solution. If the word given by Aliyev in 2003 -- to return honour and sovereignty to the country -- was fulfilled, then the Azerbaijani society, which showed the possibility of monolithic cohesion, will certainly cope with the other challenges too.

The huge potential of resources -- eco-tourism, agrarian, water-raw materials, rare earth metals, climatic zones -- that Azerbaijani lands have, those lands that have been 'resting' from economic activities, will play the role of a development reserve for several decades to come. It is quite possible that Azerbaijanis will be able not only to keep this reserve, but also to actively share its fruits, given that such a large-scale region of arable land, forests, landscape areas for tourism and ECO development is perhaps the only corner untouched by civilisation in the South-East of Europe.

On the eve of a new historical breakthrough

In turn, the implementation of economic projects is a guarantee of the stability of peace in the region. The wider the development of trade and economic relations, the more participants are interested in establishing them, increasing the cost and volume of products and services produced by the region.

It is already noticeable that the indicator of the volume of non-oil exports of Azerbaijan by 2024 of $4 billion is quite achievable (by the end of 2021, the volume of exports of commercial products is expected to exceed $2.2 billion). Every year, gradually connecting new points of the regional projects of Karabakh, they will expand the export opportunities of the whole of Azerbaijan, bring currency, and involve investors.

Of these realities, in 2023-2025, the average annual growth rate of the non-oil sector is projected at 5.1% (in 2023 - 5.2%, in 2024 - 5.3%, in 2025 - 4.9%).

Visible outlines of a new mosaic palette of the Karabakh economy of the 21st century have appeared. A new act begins, in which economic interaction within the interests of the republican regime, within the interests of the development of a tolerant nation, will play an ever-increasing leading party.

Azerbaijan has become strong enough to prevent a new conflict in Karabakh and guarantee peace throughout the South Caucasus.

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