West's double standards regarding separatism
On October 1, 2017, more than
90 % of those who participated in an illegal referendum in Catalonia supported
the region's declaration of independence. The Parliament of Catalonia passed a
declaration of independence based on these results, on October 27. The
following day, Madrid dissolved the Catalan government and parliament. Carles
Puigdemont, the president of Catalonia, resigned and is now living in exile in
the Belgian capital Brussels. Puigdemont, as well as others in his government,
have been charged with attempting secession, abuse of power, disobedience to
authorities, and misappropriation of public funds. On October 14, 2019, the
Spanish Supreme Court sentenced Oriol Junqueras, former vice president of the
Catalan government, to 13 years in prison. Former speaker of the Catalan
Parliament Carme Forcadell was sentenced to 11 years and 6 months in prison.
Five former government advisers and two public activists were sentenced to 9-12
years in prison. Three former members of the government were also fined. Thus,
the Spanish Supreme Court sentenced 12 individuals – separatists who attempted
secession from the country.
Of course, harsh measures against separatists and separatism as well as maintaining the territorial integrity of countries are important prerequisites for international law. Based on these principles, the separatists in Georgia’s Abkhazia and Ossetia, Ukraine's Luhansk and Donetsk, Moldova's Transnistria are subject to sanctions by the United States and Europe, prohibiting their representatives from traveling to Western countries. But for some reason, the same attitude is not applied to the so-called establishment in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan - the Nagorno-Karabakh region. The so-called "representatives” of this so-called organization not only travel to the US and Europe, but they also hold meetings, even collect donations and continue separatism. Of course, this approach of the West, its double standards are unfortunate.
The Spanish Supreme Court's decision to imprison Catalonia separatists from 9 to 13 years tells us what the future holds for the separatists in Nagorno-Karabakh, political commentator Sahib Aliyev told Kaspi. "It is necessary to pay attention to the processes taking place in the world, including in Syria. It is no secret that the United States, Iran, Russia, and some European countries are pursuing their own interests in Syria and have created their military bases there. Hundreds and thousands of kilometers away from their borders, these countries have carried out numerous military operations in Syria. According to the latest statistics, 916 medical workers were killed in 583 airstrikes launched on health facilities and medical personnel in Syria. Hundreds, thousands of civilians were also killed as a result of these strikes. Western governments have not held wide-ranging discussions about these losses, and have not been interested in publicizing this information. However, as soon as Turkey, which has a large border with Syria, launches military operations in this state for its own security and territorial integrity or, more precisely, to clear terrorists from the area, these same Western countries take a stand against it. This double standard also manifests itself in relation to the separatists in Nagorno-Karabakh,” he noted.
Aliyev noted that unlike other countries that have suffered from separatism, as a result of the precise and most importantly independent foreign policy pursued by the Azerbaijani state, the international community has not recognized the so-called regime in Nagorno-Karabakh. In his words, this is the success of Azerbaijani diplomacy. After the war in Georgia’s Abkhazia and Ossetia region, so-called regimes were created in both regions and their "independence” was recognized by Russia and two other countries. Ukraine’s Autonomous Republic of Crimea functions today as an integral part of Russia. The West has forgotten about the events which took place in Ukraine's Luhansk and Donetsk regions. Chisinau has a softer approach towards Moldova's Transnistrian problem and seems inclined to make significant concessions. Although some great powers act as patrons of Armenia, and of separatists in Azerbaijan's Nagorno-Karabakh region, they have not yet recognized the "independence" of the so-called organization. Even Armenia has not recognized the "independence” of the so-called regime in Nagorno-Karabakh. Thus, the steps and measures taken by Azerbaijan towards returning its occupied lands are more than those taken by others. Throughout the years, under President Ilham Aliyev’s leadership, official Baku has not compromised with anyone on Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, nor has it withdrawn its principal position on the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Not one state in the world calls into question Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity. At the same time, the April battles of 2016 and the Gunnut victory of 2018 proved that Azerbaijan is capable of securing its territorial integrity through the use of force,” he added.
Chairman of the Party of Democratic Reforms, MP Asim Mollazade believes that the Armenian diaspora is behind the US and European countries’ double standards in some cases. According to him, Armenian diaspora organizations find their way to politicians in various countries, influence them by various means, and then turn them into their propagandists. "The US, France, and Russia are co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group. These countries are directly responsible for the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The sad reality is that all three states have a strong Armenian diaspora that is able to influence their decision-making bodies. In general, double standards are applied not just in the Nagorno-Karabakh problem. That is, no steps have been taken in the defense of Georgia and Ukraine. At the time, the European Parliament made appropriate decisions on the occupation of both countries’ territories and the establishment of separatist organizations there, deeming it unacceptable. But no serious steps were taken in this direction later on. The occupation of Ukraine's Crimea, Luhansk and Donetsk are practically forgotten. There is no unambiguous position in relation to Spain either. The separatist leader is based in Brussels, and several European parliamentarians have visited Barcelona placing Spain's territorial integrity under question. I believe that the principles of international law and decisions of international organizations must be strictly adhered to, and the fundamental principles should not be violated. Azerbaijan should also strengthen its work in this direction. I think that countries that are victims of separatism should unite their efforts and work hard within international organizations to protect the territorial integrity of countries,” he said.