Do the European countries put enough effort into solving conflicts in the post-Soviet area, including Karabakh?
Unfortunately, on the Karabakh conflict, the Council of Europe does not demonstrate the kind of clear position it had in the Georgian-Russian war. This is wrong. For example, during the Georgian-Russian war in 2008, the German parliament agreed on the need for the government of Germany to involve the EU in the negotiating process to solve the problem. The EU should do the same on Karabakh.
No European country can accept the injustice facing Azerbaijan, the fact of the occupation of 20% of its land and the existence of over a million refugees and internally displaced persons. Therefore, the EU should use its mechanisms to solve this problem.
How is it possible to involve European countries in the Karabakh conflict settlement?
In order to involve the EU in the solution of the Karabakh conflict it is necessary to attract a number of politicians to this process. For example, this may include politicians who enjoy a good reputation in the EU. With regard to Germany, Angela Merkel, who is sensitive to conflicts, could be such a politician, especially since relations between Azerbaijan and Germany have a long history, so Germany could contribute to the process of conflict resolution.
Unfortunately, since Armenia is a Christian country, the EU does not demonstrate a firm stance against that country. The EU shows a different standard when approaching the same problems. For example, if it was Azerbaijan that occupied Armenian land, the EU would act decisively, would be active. But anyway, it is necessary to involve the EU in the settlement of the Karabakh conflict. Armenia must withdraw its troops from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan without any prerequisites.
Should Azerbaijan use the Nabucco and Trans-Caspian gas pipeline projects to attract EU attention to the Karabakh conflict settlement?
Absolutely. The EU is heavily dependent on Russia for energy. For example, Germany and the Nordic countries of Europe meet most of their needs for oil and gas from Russia. These countries are, therefore, very concerned about their dependence on Russian energy sources, and intend to change this situation. Therefore, these countries attach great importance to the Nabucco and Trans-Caspian gas pipeline projects.
In other words, the Nabucco project and the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline are likely to attract EU attention to the Karabakh settlement. It is necessary to bring to the attention of the EU the fact that Azerbaijan is an important country in ensuring Europe’s energy security but is facing the problem of land occupation.
However, it is necessary to ensure that the EU mobilizes its potential to influence Russia on the settlement of the Karabakh problem. It is necessary to ensure that Russia stops providing support to Armenia and explains to Armenia the need to liberate the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. EU countries can influence Russia in this matter because Russia has a need for closer relations with the EU.
To what extent are the Turkish-Armenian protocols linked to the Karabakh conflict settlement?
The current government of Turkey, namely the ruling Justice and Development Party, conducted a mistaken policy because the protocols did not fix the points concerning the liberation of the Armenian-occupied territories of Azerbaijan. The US insisted on the opening the Turkish-Armenian border. This was prevented by Turkish public opinion – 98% spoke against the opening of the Turkish-Armenian border before the liberation of the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. After that, the party was forced to abandon its policy, and the Turkish-Armenian protocols were thrown into the dustbin. But my fear has to do with the policies of Turkey, which is largely tied to the wishes of the United States. But I hope that the Turkish government has learned a lesson from this mistake, and is vigilant to prevent a similar mistake happening again.