A brief excursus into U.S-Azerbaijani relations and reflections on future

'Azerbaijan has regularly faced the West`s double standards over its years of independence'

Baku. 20 December. REPORT.AZ/ “Azerbaijan” newspaper has published an article headlined “A brief excursus into U.S-Azerbaijani relations and reflections on future” on its website. Report  presents the article.

Azerbaijan has regularly faced the West`s double standards over its years of independence. It became clear as time passed by that it is geopolitical and strategic interests of some foreign circles, in particular, the USA that lie behind this approach. In the USA, some think that Azerbaijan must neither pursue its national interests nor cross the line drawn by Washington. It means that official Baku must only fulfill instructions. For example, Azerbaijan must divide and export its national resources by sticking to the rules determined by Washington. The fate of Nagorno-Karabakh must be determined by Washington without anybody`s interference and Azerbaijan must accept any decision. Azerbaijan`s foreign policy must fully meet America`s wishes and demands, and the Department of State must decide how Azerbaijan will build its relations with other countries. The right to elect government must belong to the White House rather than the people of Azerbaijan.

It is a completely wrong line of thought. Azerbaijan has already proved that it determines its domestic and foreign policy, international relations as a state on its own and does not need any advice from any powerhouse or external force. Energy potential, as the national wealth of Azerbaijan, must first of all ensure welfare of the people of Azerbaijan and development of the Azerbaijani state and then contribute to both the regional progress and European energy security. Azerbaijan can in no way refuse its territorial integrity and is determined and able to respond to any pressure, relying on international law and principles of justice. The people of Azerbaijan believe that electing the government is their exceptional right and it must be exercised not by official circles of any capital cities, but in Azerbaijan, in line with their will and through elections. The government of Azerbaijan respects the choice of people and it will continue to be so from now on.

The West must realize unequivocally that the people of Azerbaijan are 9.5 million citizens and 5 million voters rather than small groups financed by foreign funds. Public activists and independent journalists are not a couple of cosmopolitans and persons disrespecting national idea, but hundreds of NGOs and media representatives. They can present Khadija Ismayil, Leyla Yunus and suchlike as angels, but they know them well in Azerbaijan and the society is sure that their activity was duly assessed.

Obviously this is the reason why some circles in the USA started to think that Azerbaijan chose the path of “ignoring” the West and its values, that Azerbaijan is neither interested in European integration, nor in developing its relations with Washington and its allies. Maybe this is what lies behind the growing number of treacherously written (or ordered) fictitious articles, which contradict to the notion of partnership and simple ethical norms, in Western media, particularly the Washington Post, which is considered an official body of the Department of State. Funded from the U.S. budget, organizations like Human Rights Watch, Freedom House, etc. are used as tools of pressure against Azerbaijan. Not only the U.S. media and organizations, but also some civil society institutions and media outlets in Europe are encouraged to a real crusade against Azerbaijan.

Certainly motifs, organizers and participants of groundless, inobjective and biased accusations against Azerbaijan are known. For many years, Azerbaijan has tolerated such accusations, trying its best to ensure that such unfair attacks do not cast shadow on strategic partnership, bilateral and multilateral cooperation. Explanations have been given relating to the issues raised both in official and informal formats, different bilateral meetings and at separate events. Allegations have been proven unfounded. On the one hand, Azerbaijan clearly demonstrated that it is committed to its strategic choice, its duties and obligations. On the other hand, it proved everybody that as an independent state it is determined to build its relations with all the actors of the global politics in the spirit of equal cooperation, and that it will never make a step that can jeopardize its national interests. In this context, Azerbaijan`s relationship with the USA and the European Union can bee called an etalon of frankness. Let`s look at the facts.

After returning to power fro the second time in 1993 national leader Heydar Aliyev built the foundations of Azerbaijan`s foreign policy, and set its goals and principles. Azerbaijan`s foreign policy was targeted at building a system of relations originating from the major tasks of internal development of the state, harmonizing on the basis of norms and rules of coexistence between its national interests and interests of the outside world. Building relations with the West and European integration became key principles of Azerbaijan`s foreign policy.
In 1994, the Contract of the Century was signed, and despite serious pressure Western energy companies were involved – thanks to Azerbaijan`s efforts – in the production of hydro carbon resources of the Caspian region.

Adopted in 1995, the Constitution of Azerbaijan defined the country`s democratic development as the main goal. Liberal reforms were carried out both in legislative and practical spheres, market economy developed, fundamental human rights and freedoms were provided. A multi-party system was built, all necessary conditions were crated for the development of civil society institutions and independent media in Azerbaijan.
In 2001, Azerbaijan was elected a member of the Council of Europe, and in 2009, the country joined the Eastern Partnership initiative of the European Union.
Despite strong pressure and threats, Azerbaijan managed to diversify - together with its partners in the West – routes of exporting its energy resources and realize Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum main export pipeline projects. These projects built a strong foundation for ensuring Europe`s energy security. At the next stage, realization of the Southern Gas Corridor, Trans-Adriatic and Trans-Anatolian gas projects started at the initiative and under the leadership of Azerbaijan. This will undoubtedly further strengthen Europe`s energy security.

In 1994, Azerbaijan signed a Partnership for Peace framework agreement with NATO, starting to develop large-scaled cooperation with the organization. Further years saw Azerbaijan become one of the active members of the program.

Having considered pressure and threats from certain extremist groups, Azerbaijan was one of the first countries to react and condemn terror acts committed in New York on September 11, 2011.

Azerbaijani peacemaking units were part of peacekeeping missions in Kosovo in 1999-2008 and in Iraq in 2003-2008. In 2002, Azerbaijan started the same mission in Afghanistan, where Azerbaijani soldiers continue to fulfill their duty with dignity today. Having opened its air space and creating conditions for using its air transport infrastructure, Azerbaijan is considerably assisting the provision of NATO military contingent dislocated in Afghanistan.

Certainly the list can be continued. Anyway the reality is that Azerbaijan has always been sincere in its relations with the USA and the West, and despite pressure and threats from different directions has developed its cooperation and made its contribution to the common cause. And what has the country received in return? Has the West been frank in its relations with Azerbaijan too? The answer is univocal: NO!
The reason is that beginning from the second part of the 1990s certain circles in the USA started drawing up and executing various pessimistic scenarios relating to Azerbaijan.

Main goal of an artificial exaggeration of the issue of human rights, depreciation of the election process, creation of a corruption myth and other unfounded accusations was to shaken and distract a developing Muslim country, which had a strong will and was resolutely developing, which earned international reputation in a short period of time, and which is eager to transfer its rich energy potential to the country`s welfare, from building a national state and solving nationwide problems, as well as to spoil its image in front of the eyes of the international community.
First contours of these scenarios overtly demonstrated themselves in 2003 when national leader Heydar Aliyev died.

It should be noted that in those years government in Serbia and then in Ukraine, Georgia and Kyrgyzstan were overthrown though color revolutions. In 2005, under the leadership of U.S. Ambassador Reno Harnish, steps were made towards the realization of this pessimistic scenario. Seeing incompetence of the opposition, U.S. strategists attempted to create opposition inside the government team and ensure its activity in coordination with radical opposition. It was the USA that elaborated a plan to bring radical opposition leaders, Rasul Guliyev, who faced charges in Azerbaijan for concrete crimes, and was internationally wanted and lived in the USA for many years, and Farhad Aliyev, former minister of economic development, who was the opposition inside the government, to power. It is only thanks to the Azerbaijani government`s resolute position that this sly coup scenario was prevented. Azerbaijan emerged victorious, while the USA and its ambassador Reno Harnish, who left the country in haste, were losers.

A couple of years later coup d'états and new scenarios of revolutions shook the Arab world. This time the process was called “Arab spring”. Thousands of people were killed during the clashes and military operations that hit Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Syria, with millions of people forced to flee their homelands. Even today the economic decline, social tension and civil strife still continue in those countries. One can suppose that some incidents that happened at that time aimed to mechanically transfer the “Arab spring” to Azerbaijan. The clashes organized in March, 2012 in Guba and January, 2013 in Ismayilli were presented to the world as a “people`s rebellion”, radical opposition and the “fifth column” attempted to take the initiative and control the processes. From this point of view, it`s no coincidence that leader of REAL movement Ilgar Mammadov and deputy chairman of Musavat party Tofig Yagublu immediately appeared in Ismayilli. In December 2013, a Tunisia version of revolution was attempted in Azerbaijan. Karabakh War invalid Zaur Hasanov set himself on fire, while radical opposition, “the fifth column” and foreign organizations immediately launched an anti-Azerbaijan hysteria.

Experts believe that rallies “against the death of soldiers” and “a revolution of Molotov cocktail” conducted in January 2013 by an uncontrolled youth group, whose members were activists of radical opposition parties, were failed scenarios tried in Azerbaijan before Ukraine. The main organizer of these rallies, country director of the U.S. National Democratic Institute Alex Grigoriev, who failed to explain for what purposes he spent nearly $2 million withdrawn from his bank account, had to leave Azerbaijan in a shameful way. One can assume that ambassador Richard Morningstar`s intimidating Azerbaijan with “the start of a fire” and a “revolution” in an interview to Radio Azadlig was his attempt to throw the responsibility from his government like a character in one film who shouted “I am not guilty”. In any case, those who were funding Mr. Morningstar had not allow the old diplomat live the fate of Reno Harnish and had to create an opportunity for him to complete his mission honorably and return to his country. By the way, they say that both diplomats are still jobless.
As a logical result of these “revolution plans” the Western circles became sure that the Azerbaijani people are vigilant, they don’t succumb to provocations and support the incumbent authority. We hope that the newly appointed U.S. ambassador to Azerbaijan Robert Cekuta will draw right conclusions from this reality and from the fate of his predecessors.
We should not forget that millions of dollars have been spent to realize these scenarios made in political laboratories of the U.S. and Europe. Generally, as Azerbaijan gained the state independence and started cooperation with the West, different funds of the U.S. and Europe took consecutive measures to create miserable opposition, NGOs and media in Azerbaijan under the pretext of supporting the development of democracy. As the main mission, duties, activity of these organizations, which are called “the fifth column” have been much written about, there is no need to focus on this issue. It should just be noted that the scale of the funds allocated to “the fifth column” at the cost of the U.S. and European tax payers gives grounds to say that they have significant plans related to Azerbaijan. For example, in last several years alone the US National Democracy Fund has allocated AZN 3 million to Azerbaijani NGOs, while the International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX) AZN 1 million, the European Endowment for Democracy AZN 300,000, Liechtenstein Open Society Foundation AZN 7.6 million.
In addition, it is difficult to imagine the total amount of grants allocated by other organizations of the U.S., Great Britain, Denmark, Norway, Germany and various European countries.
Moreover, it is known that the embassies of some European countries in Azerbaijan directly provide illegal aid to opposition and NGOs on individual basis and no doubt that there are still ongoing contributions. According to the estimates of independent experts, the amount of the allocations of the U.S. and its allies in Europe through various funds or direct way to the radical opposition, NGOs, the media and the people working in the fields of human rights, advocacy, etc. makes nearly $60 million.

If these insidious plans are the response of the U.S. and some European countries to Azerbaijan`s sincere policy and are characterized as a manifestation of a “friendly” attitude then our and their conception of friendship and sincerity is quite different.
It is known that peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in compliance with international legal norms, restoration of the country`s territorial integrity are the key goals of Azerbaijan`s foreign policy in the years of independence.

The main goal in membership of international organizations, activity in these bodies, development of mutual relations with different countries was to gain support in the settlement of our problem. It should be acknowledged that enough achievements have been made in this direction. Today the world`s leading organizations as the UN, European Union, the Council of Europe, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Non-Aligned movement have adopted resolutions recognizing Armenia as an aggressive country, demanding withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from the Azerbaijani lands, and return of refugees and IDPs to their homelands.

Unfortunately, for more than 20 years activities of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, the US, France and Russia, have been limited to empty words and to throwing the whole responsibility on the conflict parties. The U.S., which claims to be an advocate of justice, is the only country to render official and unofficial assistance to the separatist regime in Nagorno-Karabakh in the amount of tens of millions of dollars. The separatist regime has its own representation in the U.S., and heads of so-called NKR held an annual marathon in this country to collect large amounts of funds. The amount of the US` yearly aid to Armenia is bigger than that allocated to Azerbaijan, which it considers its partner. The UN Security Council had hardly adopted a resolution or the ink had hardly dried on the resolutions as NATO turned Serbia and Libya upside down, while the four resolutions of this supreme organization have not been fulfilled for more than 20 years. They defend their concrete position on so-called Abkhazia and South Ossetia, personal sanctions were applied against leaders of the separatist regions of Ukraine, states, which support them, even Crimea, but head of the separatist regime in Nagorno-Karabakh travels around the world and is received everywhere.

It is known that beginning from 2008 the US Administration started to exert serious pressure on official Ankara to open the Turkish-Armenian borders. Negotiations, which were held at that time behind Azerbaijan`s back, were aimed at establishing diplomatic ties and regulating mutual relations among other measures. Of course, this process caused a wide resonance and indignation in Azerbaijani and Turkish societies, the leadership of AKP was called on to take into account the common interests of the two brotherly nations. A two-day official visit of U.S. President Barack Obama to Turkey in April, 2009, amid the process that was paving the way for serious concerns, caused different reactions. Commenting on this visit, MP of Turkish Republican People's Party Canan Artman said: “According to accurate information that we possess, Mr Obama is not coming to Turkey to give anything, he is coming to get something. The terms offered by the United States to Turkey don’t correspond to our interests. To be more exact, Mr Obama is coming to Turkey to win Ankara`s consent to adopt the Kurds Autonomy in the Northern Iraq as Kurdistan, open borders with Armenia, agree to transport weapons and other supplies to Afghanistan from Trabzon port. We can't accept any of them and we can object to Mr Obama during his speech at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey.” The most interesting side of the visit for the Azerbaijani society was an insistent invitation of President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev to Turkey first by the then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and then by President Obama.

It is not a secret that there was a serious effort towards organizing a meeting of the Azerbaijani and US presidents in Turkey and achieve Ilham Aliyev`s consent to agree to opening of the Turkey-Armenia borders.
In fact, the Azerbaijani society ruled out Ilham Aliyev`s taking any step contradicting to the national interests. This was confirmed in discussions in the media at that time. But the decision of the Azerbaijani President not to go to the meeting, on the one hand, explained the position of the Azerbaijani people, and, on the other, shocked the organizers and participants of the “opening process”. Ilham Aliyev openly demonstrated to everybody that it is impossible to put pressure on him or incite him to make any step against the national interests. This dangerous precedent was prevented only thanks to President Ilham Aliyev`s resolute and fundamental position, serious efforts, his great attention to protection and development of fraternal and friendly relations between Azerbaijan and Turkey, as well as unequivocal support of communities and media of the two countries to the Azerbaijani President. As a result, despite relevant protocols of the foreign ministers of Turkey and Armenia signed on October 10, 2009, the parliaments of the two countries didn`t ratify the documents.

Only few years later, the Turkish government had an opportunity to make sure that “zero problem” policy regarding the South Caucasus, especially Armenia, that it was pursuing in accordance with the will of the U.S., met neither its own, nor Azerbaijan`s interests. The reason is that fed from the U.S. and Europe, Gezi event, efforts to depose AKP government demonstrated to the leadership of the brotherly country that yesterday`s “allies” and “companions” today are ready to take any step to realize own interests.

Unfortunately, the efforts towards opening the Turkish-Armenian borders didn`t slow down, and again gained topicality on the eve of the 100th anniversary of the so-called Armenian genocide. According to latest news, the U.S. and European funds in Turkey have allocated large amounts of money to support the activity in this direction. For example, the program on “Support of the Armenia-Turkey normalization process” launched in January, 2014. The program was funded by the European Union and two million Euros were allocated for its realization. The program is headed by Rahil Dink, widow of Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, who was killed in Turkey. The aim of the program is to establish relations between Turkey and Armenia, and lay social grounds for opening of borders.

Ali Hasanov, head of the Socio-Political Affairs Department at Azerbaijan`s Presidential Administration, said: “Against the backdrop of events in Ukraine as well as Libya, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt we saw the firm position of the Security Council and the USA, UN, Western countries, we began to demand from them: before that we told you that Armenians occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, and there are forces supporting them. Why didn`t they impose sanctions on leaders of separatist “NKR” and aggressive Armenia? Why the entry to the Nagorno-Karabakh has not been restricted up to now? Why the sanctions applied on Ukraine have not been imposed on Nagorno-Karabakh and its separatist regime? After seeing this, we began to speak with the West the language they speak. Currently, we speak with the US, Western institutions and especially with international organizations on the language they speak, saying we need you as much as you need Azerbaijan. They try to teach us. We passed the stage of learning. We know what human rights mean. We say if human rights are indeed important to these circles, they have to restore basic civil rights of a million people displaced from Nagorno-Karabakh. At least, they must ensure their return to homelands.”
It is a bitter truth, but we have to confess that the more Azerbaijan opens arms to the U.S. and the West, the more they embrace Armenia.

Official Washington, U.S. human rights organizations turn a blind eye to chaos and election falsification reigning in Armenia, ignore the shooting down of the parliament and civilian protestors, but try to accuse the government of Azerbaijan even if some journalist or representative of an NGO catches the flu. Why do they remain silent about the existence of hundreds of political prisoners? Why don`t they speak about the cases of persecution, unfair arrests in other country of the region, but tendentiously exaggerate even a very simple issue in Azerbaijan? A question can arise: was David Kramer dispatched from the Department of State to head the Freedom House only to “take care of” Azerbaijan?! Or, why does former ambassador Richard Kozlarich dream about Azerbaijan, actually in black colors? Of course, all this raises questions. That is why Ali Hasanov said: “Criticism must be based on principles… But they systematically want to make us confess what does not exist. But they disregard the rights which are related to them. Of course, we respond to them... We can give recommendations to each other. We can advice each other on certain issues. It is up to a state itself to accept an advice or not. But when an assistant of a spokesman imperatively says that “Azerbaijan must do this”, of course, this is not acceptable.

The U.S.`double policy, efforts to pressure are not confined to these issues. Washington makes efforts to manage Azerbaijan`s bilateral relations either in the region, or in the world. They think Azerbaijan must build its relations with regional states, for example with Russia and Iran, only according to interests of the U.S. They don`t pay attention to issues like weight of a country in the world politics, its opportunities to influence the regional and global processes, the level and importance of bilateral relations with Azerbaijan. If these efforts are unproductive, they use means of blackmail, sabotage and disinformation.

For example, on August 23 of this year a drone was downed near Natanz Nuclear Site of Iran, and a question arises: from which country did the drone fly? Israeli “Debkafile” website alleged that the drone belonged to Azerbaijan and flew from Nakhchivan. Later one of the world`s leading news agencies as well as some Western mass media published this news. Some even alleged that the drone looked like Azerbaijan`s drone which was downed in Nagorno-Karabakh. Unfortunately, military circles of Iran fall under influence by that news, and also started alleging that the drone flew from Azerbaijan. But a comprehensive analysis of the issue showed that somebody tried to artificially cause tension in Azerbaijan-Iran relations.

From this point of view, two articles published by Israeli “Haaretz” newspaper on December 12 and December 16 attract attention. The first article starts with a biased analysis of the arrest of worker of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty`s Azerbaijani service Khadija Ismayilova, who is financed by the U.S. Department of State. But the author then broke the logical order and jumped to the next topic about the drone downed in the territory of Iran. The aim was to once again tendentiously emphasize the issue and attract official Tehran`s attention. The author of the second article alleged that “deterioration” of the situation on human rights in Azerbaijan threw official Tel-Aviv into difficulties, and, moreover, that reciprocal visits and meetings of the Azerbaijani and Iranian presidents give cause concern in Israel. Obviously these articles were published by the most influential media organizations of Israel, but not as a product of journalist thinking. In fact, such situation in politics reminds a game of chess with many of combinations. So we should not rule out the possibility that Israel made this step pressed by the U.S.

Everybody who closely observes political process is well aware how widely the USA is using such methods. Spread through media, disinformation is targeted at concrete influential figures, inter-government relations, large businesses, etc., and is aimed at meeting the interests of Washington. In due time even some of the U.S. Embassy`s correspondence with the Department of State posted on Wikileaks were corrected. This disinformation aimed to undermine Azerbaijan`s relations with some of the regional countries at the level of the heads of state.

The USA is also making every effort to weaken Azerbaijan`s good relations with the European Union, some leading countries of the “old continent”. Naturally one cannot rule out the interests of the Armenian lobby and separate groups, which took offence at our country for some reasons, in biased position of certain European circles and independent organizations on Azerbaijan. But big contradictions between statements and remarks by former European Union President Jose Manuel Barroso and former commissioners Catherine Ashton and Stefan Fule on Azerbaijan cannot be explained by the Armenian factor only. If the burst of anti-Azerbaijani activity of the known group governed, most probably, from the other side of the ocean, at the European Parliament, the adoption of a resolution by 30 or 40 people on behalf of an organization that has more than 700 parliamentarians is not an example of double standards, then what it is. It is the United States from where Latvian Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, who was born in the United Stated and was educated at Preston and California universities, derives his groundless accusations against Azerbaijan. Another instance – everybody knows that actions of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights are dictated by Washington. There is even a joke that there is no need to appoint the chief of the organization as everything will be as the USA`s representative to the OSCE says. In fact, there is nothing surprising. Like the United Nations, the OSCE too is seriously financially dependent on the USA.

As we know the U.S. and some Western states are extensively using a method of abusing the factor of democracy and human rights to interfere with domestic affairs of independent states. It`s not a secret that U.S. organizations receive budget funding and are, in most cases, fulfilling instructions of government bodies. Most interestingly, in the last few years the U.S. has influenced leading European NGOs too, putting its citizens at the top of these organizations. In return, these organizations get an opportunity of benefiting form financial opportunities provided by America. In face-to-face talks, heads of these organizations admit that it is the United States that stands behind continuously made biased anti-Azerbaijani statements. Many of them even openly say that they are seriously pressed in this regard.

One can say unambiguously that this is what lays behind loyalty of the world`s leading international organizations and influential foreign NGOs to what is happening in the U.S. itself. Otherwise question arises: why these organizations immediately express their position on events in various parts of the world, including Azerbaijan, but turn a blind eye to gross violations of human rights and freedoms in America? Why does the OSCE tolerate such severe attitude and disrespect towards its election monitors in the U.S.?

Controlled by the USA, “independent” NGOs frequently accuse different countries in violating the freedoms of speech and information, jailing journalists, etc. but for some reasons they do not like talking about what happens in the USA. Fortunately some organizations, which the US Agency for International Development has not yet managed to buy, deliver some realities to the world. Pen American Center (PAC) has recently published its report on violations against journalists in Ferguson. The report says that 52 journalists had their rights violated by the police after the shooting of black teenager Michael Brown on August 9. Twenty-one of them were even arrested. PAC says such mass violations of rights of journalists did not happen in Ferguson only. At the United States 2008 Republican National Convention in Saint Paul, Minnesota, police detained 42 journalists. Among them were host and executive producer Amy Goodman, whose program is broadcast by more than 1200 TV and radio channels, and her two producers. Police used tear gas, and event targeted guns at journalists. According to PAC, 90 journalists were detained during Occupy Wall Street protests. Here we would like to give some advice to spokesperson for the United States Department of State Jen Psaki – she would have been more objective if she spoke of the actions of her government instead of making absurd statements like “it is the USA`s internal affair”, or instead of being concerned about the arrests of more than 70 media representatives a couple of years ago and detention of 35 people, most of them journalists, on December 14 this year in Turkey, or instead of “staring angrily” at Azerbaijan because of journalist Khadija Ismayilova`s arrest.

In its statement, PAC says that between 2011-2012 media representatives were arrested and subjected to physical assault in 12 cities around the United States while covering Occupy protests and civil unrest. The report cites 52 incidents in which police violated the freedom of the press - 21 cases of journalist arrests, 13 cases of police threatening by handguns and other weapons, and physical assault, 11 incidents of serious prevention of journalists` activity: they were not admitted to the scene of protests or forcedly dispersed, 7 cases of use of tear gas and rubber bullets by police.”

So how can Azerbaijan sincerely accept statement by Ms Psaki or such organizations like Human Rights Watch, Freedom House, etc. or ravings of The Washington Post headlined “Azerbaijan imprisons an investigative journalist”? By the way we know that an article like provocation with a “drone” was also written by a specialist wearing glasses and sitting in one of the whisky-impregnated smoky offices in the U.S. Department of State. The motifs of this are clear: Uncle Sam is protecting his children. But why so furiously, angrily, with threats and insults? If the USA does not respect independent states that it calls partners, this article must come as no surprise.

In conclusion we would like to focus attention on a brief interview given by Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Tom Malinowski to Russian language “Nastoyascheyee Vremya” TV program on Radio Liberty. In response to a journalist`s question about possible “effective steps” against Azerbaijan along statements, he said: “We are currently conducting serious high-level negotiations with the Azerbaijani authorities. They need to understand that stifling civil society, they jeopardize the US-Azerbaijani relations which exist since they established independence. Mr Malinowski added that “such steps put our relations at risk”. As they say a very clear statement, in Washington`s spirit. This can be called “not see an inch before one's nose” or geopolitical colorblindness from the point of view of political science. Using another term, firstly said and then denied by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Thomas Melia, who visited Azerbaijan, one can say with full confidence that the USA violated the known principles long ago to worsen relations with Azerbaijan, and have closely approached “red line”. And this lays a serious foundation for a rhetoric question: Is there any future in the US-Azerbaijani relations? It is worth thinking about.

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