Why an empty plane from Azerbaijan landed in Yerevan – comments from Baku
On the night of Friday, April 9, a plane that took off from Baku landed at the Erebuni airport in Yerevan.
Prisoners in Baku (in Armenia they are called prisoners of war), detained in Karabakh in the post-war period in December 2020, were supposed to fly to the capital of Armenia on board the liner.
But there was no one on the plane.
“Those 62 people cannot be called prisoners of war”, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov said at a joint press conference with Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Yousef Ben Ahmed al-Usaymin. “They were detained in Karabakh in the post-war period and for this reason are considered saboteurs. Azerbaijan returned all prisoners of war to Armenia,” the minister said.
- Wreckage of Iskander missile fired at Shusha on display in Baku. Photos
- Five years since the ‘April war’ in Karabakh. What’s changed? Pundits from Baku Yerevan sound off
The empty plane from Baku has aroused great interest in Azerbaijan as well. Political scientists and bloggers have analyzed the incident and put forward their versions of what happened.
“Leaving Baku at the last moment will not work”
Journalist and blogger Hamid Hamidov commented on yesterday’s departure of an empty plane from Baku to Yerevan.
“The chronology, as I understand it, is as follows.
Kocharian flew to Moscow. He talks to Putin, then visits Pozner, flies to Yerevan.
Next, Pashinyan flies to Moscow for talks with Putin. The criminal prosecution of Kocharyan ends.
Pashinyan, not harbouring a grudge, returns to Yerevan.
After the meeting with Pashinyan, Putin calls Aliyev. Nobody knows in detail what the conversation is about.
But then a plane with Armenian General Muradov leaves for Baku. He arrives, treads water for a bit and then flies back. On an empty plane.
Parents of Armenian ‘saboteurs’ arrested in Azerbaijan meet the empty plane in Yerevan. They are disappointed, angry and join the parents of the missing Armenian soldiers who have been blocking the entrances and exits of the Ministry of Defense for 24 hours.
Yerevan understands that it is impossible to put pressure on Baku even with the help of third countries for one simple reason – it is Azerbaijan that is the winner in this war with all the ensuing consequences.
Now about what some people are saying that Baku gave a little slap on the cheek to Moscow and Yerevan.
The assessment, I think, is not entirely correct. Baku has no goal of embarrassing anyone like this. Baku now has two tasks – to restore the de-occupied lands and increase the territory of the de-occupied lands by reducing the territory of Azerbaijan controlled by the peacekeepers.
I do not exclude that in Moscow, Pashinyan agreed with a certain proposal of Putin, about which the latter told Aliyev. In response, we may have been ready to return the saboteurs.
Returning to Yerevan, Pashinyan, most likely, changed his mind and refused the word given to Putin. In Baku, they found out about this in time and sent Muradov alone to Yerevan.
I am sure that both in Yerevan and in Moscow they finally understood that it will not work either to abandon Baku at the last moment, or to get our way with the help of some intricacies and games. The lands should be ours to the last centimeter. They should and will be,” Hamidov wrote on his Facebook page.
‘Azerbaijan didn’t go for it’
According to political observer Agshin Kerimov, the Russian-mediated plan failed because of the Baku scenario:
“The plane landed in Yerevan empty. If we analyze the recent events, we can come to the conclusion that Azerbaijan initially agreed to the return of at least some of the saboteurs, but in return demanded something more.
What could Azerbaijan demand in return? Many insist on the option of the Zangezur Corridor. But this is a weak position, because being in an economic crisis, Armenia itself is interested in the soonest launch of this corridor.
Azerbaijan has another demand – the withdrawal of all Armenian military formations from the territory under the control of the peacekeepers.
Yesterday’s events showed that this agreement was violated at the last moment by Armenia. I suppose that Azerbaijan demanded, in exchange for the return of some of the saboteurs, a partial withdrawal of Armenian servicemen from Karabakh, but felt that Armenia was not ready to fulfill this demand.
Another important detail. A few days ago, the deputy of the Azerbaijani parliament from Khankendi (Stepanakert) Tural Gyandyazhliev said that he was looking for a place for his office in this city. At first glance, this could be assessed as populism. But this is far from the case.
These are the messages of Azerbaijan, voiced by the country..
After that, Ganjaliyev did not say a single word, there was not even any interview with him. Apparently, from above he was instructed not to say anything other than what he had already said.
Armenia once again hoped to deceive official Baku and gain time, but Azerbaijan did not go on this adventure. Now Azerbaijan is guided by a different principle: first you, then me,” Kerimov wrote.