"Weapons from France to Armenia via Georgia. What would it mean?" View from Baku
Transportation of French arms to Armenia
The transportation of French weapons to Armenia through the territory of Georgia has caused mixed reactions in the expert community of Azerbaijan. “This can be regarded both as a bow to Europe for its EU candidate status and explained by recent events in the region,” Azerbaijani analysts commented on Georgia’s decision. “We strongly condemn France‘s sending of Bastion offensive armored vehicles to Armenia,” the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said.
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The commentary appeared in the Azerbaijani public forum “View to the East”:
“Georgia has joined the balance game against Azerbaijan”
“Visual evidence of transportation of weapons sold by France to Armenia through the Georgian port of Poti is widespread,” Azerbaijani experts write.
According to them, it draws attention to the fact that “Georgia, which previously did not allow such transportation, has changed its policy.
“Georgia is the main party to lose from the topic of Zangezur corridor, which is open for discussion by Azerbaijan. Because it creates an alternative to Georgia, in a sense leaving this country offside. Negotiations on the corridor and the “3+3″ format without Georgia force Tbilisi to maneuver. So far, it seems that Georgia has joined the balance game against Azerbaijan, which is increasing its regional activity.”.
“Why is Russia turning a blind eye?”
“Many of us are now concerned with two questions.
The first is, by what route did the French weapons end up in Poti? There are three options here: the ports of Romania or Bulgaria, or the straits of Istanbul. The probability of transportation through Istanbul is zero, as Turkey is unlikely to want the activity of its geopolitical adversary in the South Caucasus, and France itself will not risk transporting military cargo through the Bosporus. There is a high probability of transportation through the Romanian port of Constanta.
The second question: why does Russia turn a blind eye to arms deliveries through the Black Sea to Armenia, its “ally” in the CSTO? Especially at a time when the leadership of this country has announced the search for an alternative to the military alliance with Russia. As it seems to us, there can be only one logical answer here: Russia is confident that eventually the weapons sent by France to Armenia will end up in its possession.
The processes in our region are going on at a tremendous speed. It would be useful to reduce this activity. It is dangerous to become part of a game that is going on beyond our control. As for Georgia, official Baku should behave with more restraint. Since Georgia is the country with the most strategic position in the South Caucasus,” the Azerbaijani experts summarized their analysis.
Commentary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan
Foreign Ministry spokesman Ayhan Hajizadeh responded to journalists’ question about France’s deliveries of military equipment to Armenia.
“We strongly condemn France’s sending of Bastion offensive armored vehicles to Armenia,” he said.
According to the official representative of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry, the transfer of the above-mentioned military equipment “will serve to strengthen the military potential and destructive activities of Armenia, which for almost 30 years has kept part of the territories of the Republic of Azerbaijan under occupation and is not giving up its aggressive policy and rhetoric.”
“These steps by France, which positions itself as a propagandist of international law, a supporter of peace and stability in the region, call into question the efforts to normalize relations in the region on the basis of mutual recognition and respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity and international borders of states and serve to exacerbate the situation.
Against the background of France’s smear campaign against Azerbaijan and destructive activities in the region, these steps, which serve the policy of militarization of Armenia, show that France is guided by erroneous interests in the region.
Armenia and France must put an end to the policy of militarization in the region, these countries must finally understand that there is no alternative to peace and cooperation in the region.
We call on the international community to refrain from arming Armenia, known for its aggressive policy, to stop and condemn such illegitimate activities that hinder the establishment of peace and prosperity in the region,” Hajizadeh concluded.