Azerbaijan needn't EU - but Union has much to lose without her
Azerbaijan has always highly valued relations with the European Union. However, these relations are not based on any dependence. When Azerbaijan signed the Contract of the Century in 1994 after regaining its independence, Europe first discovered a path of light in the South Caucasus. At that time, the world seemed to be rebuilt, and at such a time, Azerbaijan played the role of an incentive for many countries in the region to take a step forward in the field of oil, gas, and energy.
Today, Azerbaijan does not need Europe, on the contrary, the EU is dependent on Azerbaijan, because it is Azerbaijan that is one of the main providers of Europe's energy security. After the Ukraine-Russia war, Azerbaijan provided the gas needs of many countries of the European Union and continues to do so now.
This is only one side of the matter. If we take a more global approach, we can say that the transition point of Europe's connection with the East is connected with Azerbaijan. Today, the European Union is building a strategy for cooperation with Central Asia, but the road from Europe to Central Asia passes through Azerbaijan, and Europe is fully aware of this.
However, we must note with regret that some circles in the European Union, primarily France, are causing great damage to relations with Azerbaijan. Some small puppet countries are also doing their best in this way. Although positive opinions were obtained during negotiations during repeated joint meetings, for some reason, as a result of the "effort" of some forces in the European Union, all results are reduced to zero.
For example, the fact that President Ilham Aliyev did not attend the recent meetings in Granada and Brussels can be characterized as a deliberate step against the wrong position of Europe.
The West, which once said that it was concerned about the tensions that occurred as a result of the actions of the separatist regime in Garabagh, which hindered peace and stability, for some reason started to worry more on the contrary after September 20. However, thanks to anti-terrorist measures, Azerbaijan fully restored security in Garabagh by its own power. Both the European Union and the West began to appear on the agenda by expressing an even stronger reaction instead of satisfaction. After that, even in the US Congress, as well as in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, many political figures began to strengthen their anti-Azerbaijani rhetoric.
Taking all this into account, Europe must answer a question for itself: is it a partner, a friend of Azerbaijan, or does it support Armenia against Azerbaijan and implement a policy of hostility and neo-colonialism in the Caucasus region?
The EU should also take into account that Azerbaijan is a country that can prevent the development of its interests in the region. Azerbaijan has further established its power by completely liberating Garabagh from occupation by all of its power. Thus, it is an axiom that without settlement with Azerbaijan, the interests of the European Union cannot be secured either in the Caucasus region or in Central Asia.
Although the EU wants to be active in the region, regional issues are discussed in the 3+3 format. The 3+3 format is an initiative of Azerbaijan. Until today, this format was not fully operational, because Azerbaijan did not seem interested in this format due to the tension between Iran and Azerbaijan. But after relations with Iran became more constructive, Azerbaijan immediately relaunched the 3+3 format, and regional issues will be discussed in this way from now on.
Today, Azerbaijan-China relations are developing dynamically. The participation of President Ilham Aliyev in the opening ceremony of the Chinese company in the Sumgayit Chemical Industrial Park in Azerbaijan is of particular importance. All these were not random events. This was, in fact, an indication of the focus on China.
China invested about 81 million manats in Azerbaijan. The question is - which European Union country has so far invested so much in Azerbaijan? Of course, the answer is negative, i.e. none. The goal of the EU countries is only to get a share of Azerbaijan's natural resources and European companies to come and participate in the role of contractors. As the Germans and the French do in Eastern Europe, when it suits their interests, they direct their large companies according to the political conjuncture. But they do not want to do this in Azerbaijan, because it is not in their interest to increase the development, industrial and economic potential of Azerbaijan. For this reason, partnership with them is not interesting for Azerbaijan either.
Today, the technology that Europe has is available in China in a cheaper and better way. One of the reasons for this is the rapid development of relations between Azerbaijan and China.
In this regard, the meeting of President Ilham Aliyev with Xi Jinping in Samarkand, the Chinese President calling President Ilham Aliyev a "great friend" of China, and the congratulatory letter addressed to Xi Jinping by Mr. President can be characterized as a high-level development of relations between the two countries. It should be noted that Xi Jinping also wrote a letter to Mr. President for the same congratulation these days. The letter stated that "Azerbaijani-China relations are at their highest level in history today and these relations will deepen even more. Azerbaijan will implement bigger projects together with China."
In addition, the intensive visits of Azerbaijani ministers to China, as well as the expected visits of Azerbaijani Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov and Chairman of the Intergovernmental Commission Shahin Mustafayev to China, indicate the dynamics of cooperation prospects between the two countries.
At the same time, Azerbaijan has big projects with the United Arab Emirates (Masdar) and Saudi Arabia (Aqua Power). European companies also participated in these tenders, but official Baku preferred its brotherly countries.
Azerbaijan has its own internal investment resources, as well as partner countries such as China, Turkiye, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. Therefore, Azerbaijan does not need either the USA or the EU from a technological and economic point of view.
Elnur Enveroglu is AzerNews’ Deputy Editor-in-Chief, follow him on @ElnurMammadli1
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