Jasur Mammadov

-      Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan visited Azerbaijan. What was the reason of this visit?

-      Turkish Prime-minister Erdogan’s visit to Baku was first of all related with the effort of Turkey to fill out the vacuum which was created around of Azerbaijan. I mean the crisis which is developing between the West and Russia around Crimea processes and Ukraine.

Of course, Azerbaijan is in the more difficult situation than several months ago. It is really very difficult to make a choice with military and security partnership. That’s why I think Turkey was trying to fill out the vacuum to make more guarantee to Azerbaijan. Was it successful or not, I don’t think so. I don’t think that it was successful. Because now we have a game with the much bigger players. If we take account the planned visit of the secretary of the State Department of USA to the region, Russia is pressuring regional countries, especially Azerbaijan to join Custom Union and also Eurasian Union. That is the game of bigger players. It is not a game of Turkey. Turkey can cooperate with Azerbaijan on some issues, but not on military. Turkey is a NATO member and has to agree with NATO partners.

     Several days ago NATO declared its intention to strengthen the cooperation with some post soviet countries - Azerbaijan, Armenia and Moldova. What is your prediction about this process?

-      I think NATO was always interested in enlargement of the cooperation with these countries. The problem is not a NATO, the problem is those countries. They keep distance from NATO. Armenia is the military partner of Russia. Armenia is the member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).  But Azerbaijan has absolutely no commitments before Russia and before CSTO. And that’s why Azerbaijan could develop its relations with NATO. But Azerbaijan is not ready to do it. The problem is that in Baku they [Government] think that any cooperation with Western institutions, especially with NATO, with EU will provoke Russia to make more pressure on Azerbaijan.

-      What is Azerbaijani government position toward Crimea?

-      I think it is not too active, but it is positive. Especially Azerbaijani position related with the UN resolution on territorial integrity of Ukraine.