TODAY.AZ / Politics

France's string of policy failures pushes it to impose sanctions on Azerbaijan, says expert

17 January 2024 [15:44] - TODAY.AZ
By Azernews

Abbas Ganbay

The French authorities' series of failures to prevent the peace process in the South Caucasus and Azerbaijan, in general, push them to continue this action. The next step that the pro-Armenian authorities of France have taken may have a strong impact on the political power that is already drowning in a swamp.

This was told by the Irish historian and political analyst, Patrick Walsh, in a comment to Azernews while discussing the decision of the French Senate to impose sanctions on Azerbaijan.

Note that, today, the French Senate discussed a resolution aimed at condemning Azerbaijan and guaranteeing the right of Armenians to return to 'artsakh' (Khankandi).

According to the official report by the Senate, "the resolution calls for the imposition of sanctions against Azerbaijan, as well as guaranteeing the right of the Armenian population to return to "artsakh".

On December 1, 2023, the French Senate submitted for consideration a resolution aimed at condemning Azerbaijan's military attack on "artsakh."

-prevent any attempt of aggression, violation of Armenia's territorial integrity,

-call for sanctions against Azerbaijan and demand the right of the Armenian population to return to "artsakh".

Walsh says that the French demand for the "right of return" is just political posturing by the country.

"The Armenian population of Garabagh left it voluntarily, of their own free will. Unlike the Azerbaijani population in the 1990s, they were not expelled at gunpoint. They are free to return whenever they wish, and appropriate measures have been taken for their integration," the expert said.

Even though Armenians left Garabagh voluntarily, as well as by the will of the authorities in Yerevan, there were a small number of Armenians who wanted to stay and reintegrate as citizens of Azerbaijan. The professor added that the only requirement for Armenians who want to reintegrate is to become normal citizens of the state.

"So the French Senate's move is ridiculous and possibly aimed at advancing the dead status issue."

French authorities have been adding fuel to the fire in Azerbaijan's relations with Armenia since as far back as 2023. They diligently undertook to "help" the separatist clan, and the French authorities recognised the so-called "artsakh" republic, which is not recognised by the international community or anywhere else. After that, French officials made baseless and fabricated statements against the state of Azerbaijan.

Subsequently, France's adoption of a resolution against Azerbaijan led to further aggravation of relations between the two countries. To consolidate their anti-Azerbaijani actions, the French armed Armenia with military equipment and air defence systems, further stooped even lower, desecrated the monument to Azerbaijani poetess Natavan in the city of Evian-les-Bains, and recruited its citizens in Azerbaijan as spies.

According to the Irish expert, these moves by France can be characterised as a "geographical move" because France, as an EU frontrunner, is seeking to replace Russia in Armenia as the guarantor of Armenian security.

"This is seen to have commercial and political advantages for France, especially for its arms industry," P. Walsh added.

Until now, political aggression emanating from France has not caused any damage to the economies of the two states. Oil companies, such as Total Energy, which has been one of the leading gas producers in Azerbaijan since 1996, have not suffered any damage due to the policies of their state. But as a consequence of the deterioration of relations and the French Senate's discussion today of a resolution aimed at condemning Azerbaijan, there may be a strong backlash.

The Irish expert emphasised that France would probably suffer from reverse sanctions, which would likely play into the hands of other states looking for opportunities in Azerbaijan, such as the UK.

"This also raises the question of EU-Azerbaijan relations in the energy sector. How can France apply sanctions against Azerbaijan when the EU, of which it is a leading member, is making an energy deal? If the French move is carried through, it will lead to a contradiction that will undoubtedly damage the country's common interests," he added.

Political aggravation of relations between the countries and a possible French resolution imposing sanctions on Azerbaijan could deal a serious blow to the French economy. It is known that French companies "Total," "Alstom," "Suez," "Thales," "Danone," "Airbus," "Bouygues," "Iveco," "Sanofi," and "And Rothschild" have been working in Azerbaijan for many years in various spheres of the economy.


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