Perhaps this version looked quite fine somewhere in the European offices, for the audience that has no real understanding of what the Azerbaijani-Armenian borderland is today. But it falls apart at the slightest attempts to link it to the real situation. How did the “lost mountaineer” manage to get past Armenian checkpoints? And even go through the minefields?
More than that, the so-called “mountaineer” spent three days in the mined territory in the border area! And he clearly was not there to admire the beauty of snow-capped mountains: the purpose was obviously to check the readiness of Azerbaijani troops, details of their positions and so on. In military language, this is called reconnaissance.
Besides, we have learned today from reliable sources that at that exact time military satellites of France and some other European countries were over the territory of Azerbaijan. Coincidence? It does not look like it. The visit of a French brigadier general to the location of the European monitoring mission (EUMA) is all the more unlikely to be a neat coincidence.
EU Ambassador to Azerbaijan Peter Michalko in his posts on X can enthusiastically tell tales about “unarmed civilian mission”, but the real actions of EUMA on the conditional Azerbaijan-Armenia border clearly paint a picture of preparations for a “blitz invasion”.
Moreover, the “binocular policy”, which has become something of a tradition by now, also paints a picture of obvious hostility towards Azerbaijan. Ambassadors of EU countries accredited in Armenia and foreign guests keep being taken to the conditional border between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Besides Brigadier General William De Meyer of the French National Gendarmerie, the following guests have visited the border:
– German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock accompanied by German Ambassador to Armenia Viktor Richter,
– Markéta Pekárová Adamová, Speaker of the Czech Parliament,
– Martti Lutsar, Coordinator of the European External Action Service,
– Matthias Lüttenberg, Director for Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia, German Foreign Ministry,
– members of the European Parliament,
– representatives of various analytical centers like Crisis Group, whose CEO Comfort Ero showed up at the border accompanied by “Crisis Group’s Senior Analyst for the South Caucasus Olesya Vartanyan”.
Each of these visits invariably entailed a “binocular show”: watching the Azerbaijani territory from the territory of Armenia through powerful optics. What do these games on the Armenia-Azerbaijan border mean? How should we view this “hostility style”?
There is a representative office of the European Union and embassies of its member states in Azerbaijan. There are established channels of dialogue accepted in the civilized world. This is not the situation to organize “binocular politics” or to crawl across the border on one’s belly pretending to be “lost mountaineers”. Azerbaijan is not a closed country like the former USSR or North Korea. Why all the spy games?
They take on a different interpretation in the context the regional specifics. The European offices are certainly aware that a peace treaty has not yet been signed between Armenia and Azerbaijan and that the establishment of diplomatic relations is still quite far off. Thanks to the efforts of Armenia, as it systematically torpedoes all working peace initiatives and continues to dream of revenge, the situation teeters on the thin line between peace and war. And it would be understandable if all these games with binoculars were organized by Armenian war games enthusiasts.
But we are talking about the European Union here. Are the organizers of “binocular diplomacy” sending a certain message to Azerbaijan in this way? What message would that be? That they have already taken Armenia’s side in the war that has not yet begun and consider Azerbaijan a “probable adversary”?
That is, the picture is not quite clear. On the one hand, the President of the European Council Charles Michel calls President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, congratulates him on his victory in the election, discusses cooperation and puts out feelers about resuming the EU mediation between Baku and Yerevan. The EU mission, on the other hand, pursues a completely different policy, one that clashes with the main requirement for any mediator: neutrality. Does Brussels’ “right hand does not know what the left hand is doing”? Do they think that Azerbaijan will not notice this double-dealing? Or that Azerbaijan will not dare respond?
Perhaps the rules of the game are a little different in Brussels. But Baku has always respected its own word, which carries as much weight as an official signature. And it expects the same from its partners. Perhaps they cannot see these facts through binoculars from the Armenian territory, but Baku does not accept this kind of double dealing and expects a definite and clear position from their partners in Brussels. Including an answer to the question of what dangerous games on the not yet delimited border mean.