Opinion from Baku: “Russia is a wounded bear that lost its mind”
Azerbaijani expert’s comment on Russia’s geopolitical position
The ongoing war of Russia against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine is fraught with danger for all countries bordering the Russian Federation, primarily post-Soviet ones. According to Azerbaijani politician Natik Jafarli, as long as Moscow measures its strength in the territories, it will remain dangerous for all border states. “Russia is a wounded bear that has lost its mind,” he notes.
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“Yesterday Putin met with Russian young scientists and entrepreneurs and compared himself with Peter the Great. According to him, the path to a great state lies through the expansion of its territories (in fact, the occupation of others). He measured the foundations of the sovereignty and greatness of the country by its territory”, said Natik Jafarli, one of the leaders of the Azerbaijani opposition Republican Alternative Party.
In his opinion, this is a typical imperial logic, and it is fraught with danger for the entire post-Soviet space.
“Today, the average Russian is the same Putin, the vast majority of the population thinks the same way because they are “programmed” like that, they do not want to accept that they can only become a great state, an “empire” through the economy, the well-being of the population.
The expansion of territories has nothing to do with the welfare and development of the country. The modern model of such an “empire” is South Korea.
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- In 1991, when Russia became an independent state after the collapse of the USSR, its GDP was 517 billion dollars, then there was a sharp decline, and in 1996 this figure was only 396 billion dollars.
In the same year, in 1991, South Korea’s GDP was $367 billion, but in 1996 it rose to $597 billion.
- In the subsequent period, Russia’s GDP began to grow, and by 2021 it reached the level of 1 trillion 780 billion dollars.
In the same year, South Korea’s GDP was $1 trillion 800 billion.
- According to the statistics of 2021, the population of Russia was 145 million 557 thousand people, and GDP per capita was 12.200 dollars.
During the same period, the population of South Korea was 51 million 780 thousand people, and the GDP per capita was $34.865.
As you can see, Russia lagged behind South Korea in this indicator by three times.
- Russia’s exports in 2021 amounted to $491 billion 600 million, and 60 percent of this was oil and natural gas.
In the same year, South Korea exported products worth 644 billion 540 million dollars, but all exports consist of products from the real sector of the economy, technological products.
- Despite all its natural resources, in the pre-sanctions period, Russia’s gold and foreign exchange reserves amounted to only 630 billion dollars, and 300 billion of them are now “frozen”.
Gold and foreign exchange reserves of South Korea amount to 452 billion 300 million dollars.
In fact, Russia is an unfortunate country, and despite its innumerable natural resources and a vast territory, it cannot become a great state.
In Russia, greatness is measured by the area of the territory, but if there was a normal system, the citizens of the Russian Federation could live 5 times better than Americans, and Russia itself would be a rich and authoritative country.
The area of South Korea is 170 times smaller than Russia’s, and its population is three times smaller, but this is a real modern “empire”. It does not have large territories, but it is conquering markets. It does not conquer territories, but our garages, pockets, and apartments.
As long as the average Russian thinks like Putin, as long as Moscow measures its greatness by the size of its territories, it will continue to be a real danger to its neighbors, the post-Soviet states.
And for this reason, Azerbaijan should expand and strengthen its “de jure” and “de facto” allied relations, and deepen integration agreements with fraternal Turkey.
In the North, we have always had a Bear, and today it is a wounded bear that has lost its mind”, Jafarli wrote on his Facebook page.