Op-ed: Russia intends to create 'league of dwarf states'
Tension in relations between Russia and Ukraine is growing and threatens to escalate into a large-scale war. Why is the situation around Ukraine dangerous for Azerbaijan? Azerbaijani politician Natik Jafarli comments on the matter.
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“I don’t think it will come to a war between Russia and Ukraine. One of the main topics in Putin’s talks with Biden will be the situation around Ukraine. There are no hopes for concrete solutions, but at least these negotiations are important in reducing the risk of war. Let us try and figure out what the parties to this conflict want”, said Natik Jafarli, one of the leaders of the opposition Republican Alternative party.
According to the politician, Russia’s main expectation comes down to the impossibility of Ukraine’s integration into the West:
“The Kremlin is adamant that Ukraine should not join NATO, because, if that happens, Russia will regard this as an infringement of its interests and the crossing of “red lines”. Moscow claims that if NATO missiles are deployed around Kharkiv, they can reach the Russian capital in a matter of minutes: the distance is only 740 kilometers.
At first glance, this argument is quite serious but is also deceptive, because the Baltic countries are members of NATO, and are even closer to Moscow. For example, Moscow is only 680 kilometers away from the Latvian border.
Turkey, another NATO country, is 300 kilometers away from the Crimean peninsula. In other words, this thesis of the Kremlin is untenable”.
What does the US want?
“After the fiasco in Afghanistan, the United States does not want to make concessions and retreat on the Ukrainian issue. Biden’s rating has seriously fallen, and if he retreats in Ukraine or turns a blind eye to the occupation of Donbas by the Russian Federation, then the Republicans will simply “eat him alive”. This means a serious loss of votes in the next elections to the Senate and Congress.
This is only a part of the picture.
If you look deeper, a wide loop is being created around Russia. This is called the “concept of three seas” – the Baltic, Black, and Caspian. They are followed by the line of Central Asia (including the Turkic world), and Russia falls into a complete encirclement of pro-Western countries. But this is a long-term concept”, Jafarli stressed.
“Kyiv is in a hopeless situation”
“Kyiv is currently in a stalemate. Crimea is lost, its return does not seem plausible. They have lost the Donbas mentally, but it is difficult to agree with this. In addition to this, there are serious problems within the country – economic difficulties, strife between the oligarchs. All of these are the main challenges facing Ukraine.
The solution to all these issues goes back to deep integration with the West, there is no other way, because Russia has burned all the bridges. It shows its hostile attitude towards Ukraine at every opportunity”, the Azerbaijani politician says.
What are the forecasts and what risks are facing Azerbaijan?
“Most likely, Russia will recognize the ‘republics’ created by the Kremlin in Donbas. Thus, Moscow will follow the scenario of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
In Donbas, Russian passports are being handed out, over half a million people have already received them. This figure could reach one million next year.
Ultimately, Russia will create a ‘league of dwarf states’ associated with Moscow.
For us, for Azerbaijan, it is important that the Kremlin increases its influence in Khankendi [Armenians call this city Stepanakert – JAMnews] and in the territory around this city, binds them to itself economically and politically.
Thus, Russia does not allow the integration of Armenians living on the territory of Azerbaijan, and the Kremlin will continue this policy, trying to include this region in its “league of dwarf states” or it will threaten Baku with this option and dictate its own terms”, Natik Jafarli wrote on his Facebook page.