Person responsible for Eurasian integration: Why and how does he hope to "destroy" Azerbaijan?

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Baku, 8 October 2018 –

Not everyone dares to tell the truth. It is useless to expect justice from everyone. For those involved in politics there is a certain political and diplomatic etiquette. But it is not about Konstantin Zatulin, first deputy chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee for CIS Issues, European Integration and Work with Fellow Countrymen. Zatulin is also responsible for Eurasian integration. And this person stated that Armenia can "destroy” Azerbaijan. Regardless of who says what in any CIS state, Zatulin`s position demands him to make objective, responsible and well-balanced statements. He must not make ridiculous and unfounded statements such as one CIS member state can "destroy” another. In addition, if this person is responsible for integration issues and relations with Russians living abroad, he must be extremely careful, sensitive and fair. In the light of the aforementioned theses, we would like to analyze some of Zatulin`s statements.

Partiality: attitude inappropriate for a CIS official

First deputy chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee for CIS Issues, European Integration and Work with Fellow Countrymen Konstantin Zatulin is not eligible for these post. Instead of fostering Eurasian integration and developing relations with fellow countrymen, Zatulin has been engaged in pro-Armenian activities for many years. It is interesting why he has been kept at such a responsible post. Who is interested in this? Someone in Russia probably has the answer to this question. But there are a number of points that are of particular importance to us.

Zatulin is from Tbilisi. But he has taken an anti-Georgian attitude. Zatulin defends separatism not for the principles of human rights, self-determination and democracy, he is doing this with the aim of defending the Armenian interests. It is clearly obvious from his statements on the Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

This time Zatulin went further to sacrifice the Russian state interests for the Armenian interests. He made a controversial statement in response to an Azerbaijani parliamentarian`s comments on the occupation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent districts. It is obvious that Zatulin does not care about truth or Russia`s state interests, his main goal is to justify the Armenian occupation even if this requires sacrificing the interests of Russia, of which he is a citizen.

When an independent member of Azerbaijan`s parliament says that "Russia occupied the Nagorno-Karabakh” he means support overtly provided by some forces in the Russian government under Boris Yeltsin to Armenia. It`s not a secret that those forces provided military, political and diplomatic assistance to Yerevan, and this was confirmed by Alexander Dugin, acclaimed Russian public and political figure, philosopher, sociologist, professor at Lomonosov Moscow State University, leader of the International Eurasian Movement. Speaking after the "Baku-Moscow geopolitical axis: Azerbaijan is Russia`s only partner in the South Caucasus” conference in Jojug Marjanli, Dugin said Yeltsin`s Russia helped Armenia to occupy the Nagorno-Karabakh and adjacent districts. So the Azerbaijani MP was not the first person to express this opinion. On the other hand, the MP does not represent the government, he is an independent parliamentarian. Do not the Russian State Duma members freely express their views? Do not some of Russian parliamentarians slander Azerbaijan? The answer is clear.

In addition, some Russian companies are operating in Azerbaijan`s occupied lands with Armenia`s consent. They are running businesses, exploiting Azerbaijan`s natural resources. And they did not ask for permission from Azerbaijan for this. But Azerbaijan has repeatedly stated that those territories have been occupied, which was recognized by Russia. In addition, Azerbaijan undertook certain commitments and has certain rights within CIS. How can all this be ignored?

Unlike G. Hasanguliyev, Zatulin is a CIS official. He has to equally defend interests of all member states of the organization. But he makes a first big mistake by interpreting an independent MP`s position as official Baku`s standing, and in addition, he makes an unfounded, biased claim that a member state of CIS "may be destroyed”. Zatulin even shamelessly said that this "destruction” will be caused as a result of Armenia`s another provocation.

A question arises: How can a person who deals with the Eurasian integration and affairs of Russians abroad make such irresponsible and illogical, non-diplomatic statements? And who does this person serve by saying so? Does Zatulin prove by his anti-Russian stance, that he was among the pro-Armenian forces during Yeltsin? Does he think that he is not responsible for the killing of people if he backs the idea of supplying Armenia with arms and providing comprehensive support to Yerevan? We cannot give a detailed answer to this question. We just give a hint at Zatulin`s absurd and ridiculous "logic”. It runs absolutely contrary to Russia`s current foreign policy.

For example, Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly said that Azerbaijan and Russia enjoy the relations of strategic partnership. Among former Soviet republics, Azerbaijan has the greatest respect for the Russian language, culture and state interests. Does Mr Zatulin wish this country to be "destroyed”? May be he`d better deal with why there are no Russians in Armenia? At least he is directly responsible for this. If Zatulin comes to Baku, the Russians living here will explain him that it is Russians and Russian-speaking people who live the most comfortable life in Azerbaijan. They do not need zatulins to defend their rights because the Azerbaijani government is taking all necessary steps in this regard.

Wrong appointment: who will correct the mistake?

Naturally, the government of Azerbaijan does not build its policy based on emotions and does not adjust it depending on illogical statements of individuals. Azerbaijan is a democratic state, where multiculturalism is a state policy and "Azerbaijani Russians” are full-fledged citizens. And zatulins should not try to cause problems for civilians by echoing the Armenian propaganda machine`s nauseating and dirty allegations. Our patience is wearing thin.

The political side of the story is much more awful because Zatulin is directly responsible for integration issues in Eurasia. Moscow attaches special importance to this issue. Eurasian integration is one of the key priorities in Russia`s global policy. It is a strategically important factor.

However, Zatulin openly says that Azerbaijan may be "destroyed” and alleges that it is not stable enough and does not spend oil and gas revenues to better people`s living standard.

It is a barefaced lie. Azerbaijan is the leading state in the South Caucasus both economically and politically. International projects and reforms implemented by official Baku have yielded excellent results. All foreign politicians and diplomats coming to Azerbaijan are impressed by what they see here and never hide their astonishment. Azerbaijan has made great strides in the years of independence of which it was deprived for almost 300 years when it was part of the Russian empire and the Soviet Union. Are Armenians and zatulins concerned about this development?

Absolutely possible. Otherwise, Zatulin would have recalled the Azerbaijani government`s spending funds to maintain the Russian culture, language and religious temples, and would have been ashamed of his slander campaign. There is a Russian orthodox church in the heart of Baku. The Azerbaijani government is providing assistance even to Armenian religious temples in foreign countries. It is providing assistance to Jewish synagogues. Russians living in Baku are provided with employment at a high level. At their work places everybody speaks with them in Russian. Even ethnic Azerbaijanis speak with Russians only in Russians. Those who want to cast a shadow on this care are the enemies of the Russian state, nation and culture. If Zatulin is one of them, then it is the internal problem of the Duma and certain political forces.

But zatulins can neither change the Kremlin`s foreign policy, nor they can spoil Azerbaijan`s image. There are other reasons behind their allegations and hysteria. The point is that the Armenians and their patrons are very well aware that Azerbaijan is stronger than Armenia in all terms. Otherwise, sargsyans, pashinyans would not have pled with Moscow, Berlin, Paris and Washington not to allow Azerbaijan to start military operations. Otherwise, Pashinyan would not have followed President Ilham Aliyev in Dushanbe and asked him not to wage a war, and would not have shared the good news with the terrorists in the Nagorno-Karabakh.

Apart from the Armenians, Zatulin also knows that Azerbaijan has the most powerful economy and army in the South Caucasus. This army is capable of destroying the Armenian armed units in a short space of time. This is why zatulins flew into hysteria. But it`s useless because the Azerbaijani leadership and army will give the necessary response. And this response is unambiguous: Azerbaijan`s territorial integrity must be restored! No second Armenian state will be created in the Azerbaijani soil! No inch of land will be given to the aggressor!

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