YEREVAN (ARKA.am) — Azerbaijan’s policy of “oil-for- Karabakh ” appeared to be a complete failure, an Azerbaijani political scientist, Arif Yunusov, said when speaking at an international conference on partnership between NATO and the South Caucasus in Yerevan yesterday.
“Azerbaijan believed that in return for our oil and gas, we would obtain the favor of the West in the settlement of the Karabakh issue, and eventually we would live like Kuwaitis,” Yunusov said.
He said Azerbaijani authorities are now successfully using West’s interest in Azeri oil and gas to get it shut its eyes to the problems with democracy and human rights violations in the country.
“In the early 90’s we heard U.S. ambassadors say that the most important priorities are human rights, security and only then energy. Now this succession has changed, and we hear that energy resources are important, followed by security and human rights,” said Yunusov.
He said after Ilham Aliyev came to power he started an all -out attack on dissent, human rights having built a kind of a Middle Eastern monarchy, but Western powers turn a blind eye to it.
He said hopes of Azerbaijani citizens that their lives would improve dramatically on income from oil and gas did not come true because all the revenue goes into the pockets of a small group of people.
The two-day conference organized by the Centre for Strategic Analysis Spectrum has brought to Yerevan political analysts and experts from Azerbaijan, Georgia, USA, Russia, Turkey, Iran , UK, Spain and Belgium, to discuss regional security issues, Euro-Atlantic prospects, European and Eurasian partnership and cooperation and development trends in each of the regional countries.