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Problems relating to ARAC damage the mediatory mission of Russia

Problems relating to ARAC damage the mediatory mission of Russia
According to political analysts, Kremlin’s actions may lead to loss of confidence

Revoking of the license of All-Russia Azerbaijani Congress by the Supreme Court of Russia at the request of Justice Ministry of Russia has been meet with mixed responses. Because Azerbaijani does not view Russia as a neighbor state alone, but also a friendly state. Russia, at the same time, is very important for Azerbaijan as one of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs. For a long time, Russia has been mediating the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict along with the USA and France. As such, Russia has managed to bring Azerbaijani and Armenian officials together in peace talks, even though that have not yet yielded any results. However, revoking the license of ARAC not only damaged the mediatory mission of this country, but also created an atmosphere of no confidence.  
 
In his interview with "Kaspi” political analyst Fikret Sadikhov said ARAC was a huge organization and operated in the whole territory of Russia: "This organization not only involved Azerbaijanis but also leading scientist and public figures who were Russian citizens. At the same time, it made a positive impact on Azerbaijan-Russia relations. Its sudden abolishment will naturally impact the relations as well as the co-chair function of Russia in the MG. We were already dissatisfied with the Minsk Group and were voicing it. This move by Russia will lead to loss of confidence. This is the reality. As Russia was our strategic partner, they should not have taken such a step. Our attitude towards this country may change. It’s possible for there to be loss of confidence and distrust towards this country”.  
 
ARAC should not stand back but appeal the decision, Sadikhov added: "If it is impossible to reinstate the organization, then a new organization should be founded. This institution may register under a new name. We can’t let such an organization be abolished”.  
 
According to Natig Miri, Russian attitude toward Azerbaijan has always been about making Azerbaijan orbit around Russia: "It was like this yesterday and it will remain so tomorrow. As Azerbaijan pursues independent policies, we face certain problems every now and then. Of course, this includes the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh. This is exactly why Nagorno-Karabakh conflict has not been resolved in the 24 years. Because Russia distrusts Azerbaijan and uses this conflict as a pressure tool so that we’d have to think about Karabakh problem. We always have to reckon with this. Even though today the reputation of Russia as the OSCE MG co-chair is damaged, Azerbaijan should reconcile with that fact. Because Russia is the creator of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. They not only instigated this conflict, but they also control it. Unfortunately, other co-chairs have let Russia take charge. Thus, Russia always manipulates using the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. We should look at the recent escalations of Armenian servicemen along the front line in this context”.  
Miri noted that revoking the license of ARAC could somewhat be viewed as a pressure against Azerbaijan: "All of these issues are interrelated and this is linked to moves Azerbaijan has made in the recent months. From signing a treaty with Europe to holding a Constitutional referendum in Azerbaijan and creating a new post of vice-presidency, reforms about structural changes and future prospects to military drills held jointly by Turkey and Azerbaijan. All of this agitates Russia. Thus, abolishment of ARAC should not be viewed as the work of a group against Azerbaijan. That’s not the case and these things do not occur without the will of Russian president. In my opinion, if an organization representing 2-3 million Azerbaijanis living in Russia can be abolished, then we should review the activities of cultural and media centers operating in our country”.  
 
Bakhtiyar Mammadli                      
 

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