New reality in European Political Space - aspects that make Azerbaijan leading force at Chisinau meeting
The ongoing processes are beginning to shape a new political reality in the European Political Space. In this sphere, which has been observed to emerge from Reykjavik to Baku, the name of Azerbaijan has also been present from the very beginning, and it is a specially invited party to this format.
Currently, when looking at the European space, it is clearly seen that the OSCE is in a completely paralyzed state and does not have any role in the issue of European security. On the other hand, although many issues are discussed within NATO and the EU, these organizations cover certain states. In other words, there is no institution that can play the role of a discussion platform within the general European framework.
Currently, the European Political Union is in the process of its formation and serves as an important platform for conducting open and informal discussions between the states at the level of leaders.
At the meeting in Chisinau attended by the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev based on a special invitation, discussions are continued at the level of working meetings as well as general plenary meetings at the level of leaders and top diplomats. It should be noted that, as in the first meeting held in Prague, three main directions were defined in the meeting held in Moldova: energy, transport links and security.
There is no doubt that the participation of the head of state of Azerbaijan in this meeting is not limited only to the issue of security in Armenia and the South Caucasus. The fact that Azerbaijan hosted an international event called Baku Energy Week a day before the event shows that it has wide economic opportunities. Especially in the meeting of Moldova, Azerbaijan is active in issues related to energy and transport. Here, relevant working groups and President Ilham Aliyev personally participate in open and useful discussions with state and government leaders.
As mentioned earlier, Azerbaijan is already putting aside the deliberately extended problems related to Armenia in the South Caucasus. Prolonging the conflict issues in the region in a meaningless way and fruitless discussion does not benefit any party. Even the Western partners who have taken the initiative in these issues understand that negotiating with a state like Armenia is a waste of time. As the top leaders of the European Union have noted, Azerbaijan, the most reliable partner, is seen as an attractive party in the discussions of more large-scale energy projects today.
A new model of the European Political Union
As for the future prospects of the European Political Union, what form it will take and finally its formation as an organization that can have a new pan-European character - this is a topic of discussion for the future. Currently, there is no unified opinion among the states on this issue, but such prospects are possible in the future.
It should be noted that over time there was a concept within the framework of the OSCE that would go from Vancouver to Vladivostok, but as we can see now, a new reality, i.e., a political concept, covering a political space from Reykjavik to Baku is being formed.
The transformation of Azerbaijan into the energy capital of Europe
As mentioned earlier, political motives are beginning to change in the European space. The ongoing situation in Ukraine and the emerging economic necessity have become the driving factors for all these processes. Europe sees Azerbaijan as a door of hope and has unlimited confidence in its vast potential. This is not an exaggeration - indeed, the international event called Baku Energy Week, attended by President Ilham Aliyev a day before his visit to Moldova, clearly described everything. Today, in such a situation, the leading states of Europe, as well as the Eastern Europe, the Balkans, and the Baltic states, which are seriously affected by the war in Ukraine, give great priority to economic values.
And finally, the participation of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev in the second summit of the European Political Union organized in the capital Chisinau based on the invitation of the President of the Republic of Moldova Maia Sandu and the President of the Council of the European Union Charles Michel can be noted as an important meeting with many points.
It is of note that Azerbaijan's political and economic relations have developed at a high level not only with European countries, but also with Moldova. There is a high-level dialogue between the two countries, and these mutual relations continue to develop in the spirit of friendship and cooperation today.
Within the framework of his visit to Moldova, President Ilham Aliyev also met with Moldovan President Maya Sandu and Prime Minister Dorin Recean, and during the discussions, the parties brought up the prospects of economic cooperation in agriculture, energy, and investments in large-scale projects. It is also significant to noted that diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and Moldova have been going on for 31 years. Back in 2005 and 2009, when President Ilham Aliyev visited Moldova, 63 documents were signed between the two countries.
Note that since 2004, the Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation has been operating between the two countries. The commission has held 4 meetings so far, and the last meeting was held in October 2022.
Today, 23 investment companies belonging to Moldova operate in Azerbaijan mainly in the fields of industry, transport, trade, and services. It is no secret that Moldova has invested 3.8 million US dollars in Azerbaijan (mainly non-oil and gas sector). Meanwhile Azerbaijan has invested USD 13.8 million in Moldova (non-oil and gas sector). In addition, in 2022, the total trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Moldova amounted to 23.85 million USD, which is a 3.79 times increase compared to 2021.
At the same time, Azerbaijan's humanitarian aid to Moldova once again clearly shows the existence of mutual and warm relations between the two countries. Back in 2020, during the height of the pandemic, humanitarian aid worth 455,428 manats (about 268,000 USD) was sent from Azerbaijan to Moldova to support the fight against the coronavirus. In order to meet the needs of Ukrainian IDPs who moved to the territory of Moldova since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the state of Azerbaijan provided 29,12 tons of medicines, and humanitarian aid worth of USD $ 1 mln was sent to Moldova on April 15, 2022.
Along with all this, cultural relations between Azerbaijan and Moldova are also developing. It should be noted that with the support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, a Culture and Education Center was built in Ceadir-Lunga, Gagauzia Autonomous Territorial Authority of Moldova. In addition, the President of Moldova Maia Sandu personally participated in the event held in Chisinau this year on the occasion of the Independence Day of the Republic of Azerbaijan on May 28 and the 100th anniversary of National Leader Heydar Aliyev.
Elnur Enveroglu is AzerNews’ deputy editor-in-chief, follow him on @ElnurMammadli1
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