In lieu of an epilogue

With the analyses at hand, I tried to impartially comment on developments unfolding at European institutions concerning Azerbaijan and reveal their real essence without being under the sway of emotions and in an impartial manner.

My key objective was to examine the reasons for the ongoing criticism of and pressures on Azerbaijan by European institutions over various issues and gauge to what extent the criticism and pressure on Azerbaijan are objective.

The analyses of the developments show that as a rule, Azerbaijan has been subject to continuous criticism by European institutions mainly over the issue of political prisoners, for the results of the presidential and parliamentary elections and referenda the country have held up to now.

The information presented demonstrates that European parliamentary institutions are at best indifferent to the ongoing occupation of the Nagorno-Karabakh region and other territories of Azerbaijan by Armenia. And they do not often distinguish between the aggressor state and the victim of the aggression. In most cases, they defend the aggressor state Armenia under trumped-up provocations of the Armenian diaspora and the state of Armenia without taking into account the international legal norms.

The analyses of the visible and invisible aspects of the debates on these three important issues, and of the developments taking place around the debates show that the criticism and pressures against Azerbaijan were not coincidental and chaotic in nature. The criticism was very well planned and conducted in a systematic way by a single center of the pro-Armenian and anti-Azerbaijani forces. These criticisms have been continuous, and their intensity has changed depending on the topicality of issues put on the agenda and have been an integral part of the long-term anti-Azerbaijani strategy.

In order to realize their anti-Azerbaijani strategy, they conspired with NGOs funded from the single center, regularly spread information that was biased and full of hatred and wide of the mark, thus, trying to damage the international standing of Azerbaijan.

Retrospective analyses of the developments show that the anti-Azerbaijani forces, who were seriously annoyed by Azerbaijan’s successes at PACE, formulated a strategy against Azerbaijan and made regular attempts to implement it. Being convinced of the impossibility of achieving their malicious plans against Azerbaijan through putting reports on the agenda of European organizations, namely through internationally recognized democratic vote, they chose a new strategy – by putting forward groundless allegations of corruption against Azerbaijan, to cast a doubt on the impartiality of the decisions made at PACE and to bring these issues back on the agenda.

Undoubtedly, it has been a primary objective to put back on the agenda the issue of political prisoners, which is the most effective instrument of influencing any PACE member state, including Azerbaijan. After the rejection of Mr. Strasser’s biased report, stipulating the presence of political prisoners in Azerbaijan at a plenary meeting of the 2013 January session of PACE, the anti-Azerbaijani and pro-Armenian forces at PACE prepared new strategies in order to gain new opportunities of political influence on Azerbaijan. And at the heart of all new strategies was the revival by all means of the so-called issue of political prisoners and use it against Azerbaijan.

The anti-Azerbaijani forces, who were disappointed by the rejection of Mr. Strasser’s report, began to form an opinion, alleging that the achievement for the preparation  of the report “On the escalation of tension in Nagorno-Karabakh  and other occupied territories of Azerbaijan” and the adoption of the Resolution 2085 (2016) “On  the deliberate deprivation of inhabitants of frontier regions of Azerbaijan from water” were possible thanks to bribing PACE members by the Azerbaijani authorities. As I (Elkhan Suleymanov) and my colleague Muslum Mammadov were distinguished by our special activities in achieving successes in the name of Azerbaijan, the allegations were put forward against us. In order to make these allegations seem reliable, it was claimed that the rejection of Mr. Strasser’s report was possible in exchange for money allegedly given to former PACE member Mr. Luca Volonte by me.

However, even though on 27 January 2017, the Milan Court declared the absence of conditions for the proceedings against Luca Volonte in relation to the offence of corruption claim through the exercise of this function, the PACE Bureau, on the same day, decided to set up an Independent External Investigation Body.

This decision of the Bureau once again proved that Europe is playing a dirty “democracy” game against Azerbaijan. Thus, to bring back the issue of the political prisoners to the agenda and to turn Azerbaijan into the political battlefield were standing behind the establishment of the Investigation Body to look into the allegations of corruption  within PACE and  the anti­Azerbaijani forces were mobilized to this end. Finally, I would like to highlight that Azerbaijan’s recent achievements in PACE, particularly, the rejection of Strasser’s biased report in 2013, the adoption of Sarsang Resolution on the occupation of our territories, the assessment of recent elections in Azerbaijan as democratic, free and transparent by international organizations had seriously annoyed the anti-Azerbaijani forces. Those forces tried to revive the allegations of political prisoners in Azerbaijan under different pretexts and tricks.

In this dirty game, they have no respect for any of the declared European values, and the discrimination against Azerbaijan, inefficiency of the rule of law principle, putting legal issues on the agenda without taking heed of court decisions are considered normal.

The appointment of a rapporteur on the political prisoners in Azerbaijan at PACE after the approval of the report of the Independent  External Investigation Body once again showed that our analyses and predictions, though regrettable, were not groundless and justified.

In unison with PACE, the adoption by the European Parliament of the recommendations containing conditions for the ratification of the EU-Azerbaijan comprehensive cooperation agreement showed that the strategy against Azerbaijan is not limited to only PACE.

P.S. I feel compelled to bring to the attention of the readers that as I exposed the dirty “democracy” game of Europe through these analyses, I will be subjected to strong persecution and pressures in the future.