How could Belarusian elections affect relations with Azerbaijan? - Azerbaijani political analyst evaluates | Eurasia Diary -

20 September,

How could Belarusian elections affect relations with Azerbaijan? - Azerbaijani political analyst evaluates

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Belarus presidential elections has sparked a series of unrest and caused several questions. Opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya didn’t accept the results and called it fake. Opposition groups called for a boycott and made rallies. Serious incidents were reported during the marches between police and protesters.

During the election process, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko once again retained his power, winning by 80 percent of the vote. Noting that, happenings and its possible consequences are also seriously analyzed by Azerbaijan. The elections in Belarus drew attention to many points. Thus, the main question is how the elections in Belarus and possible future changes of government will affect relations with Azerbaijan. Political analyst, head of the Atlas Research Center Elkhan Shahinoglu shared his views with

Noting the importance of Belarus for Azerbaijan, the political scientist explained the possible effects of the events.

“Belarus is a very important country and partner for Azerbaijan. This can be explained with several reasons. First of all, Belarus is a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). Armenia sometimes mistakenly thinks that the CSTO and its member states should support Armenia's aggressive policy. Even in the case of provocations and attacks on Azerbaijan, this organization is supposed to support Armenian position. However, Belarus has never supported the aggressive policy of Armenia, on the contrary, paid attention on the importance to partnership with Azerbaijan, although we are not a member of the CSTO.”

Elkhan Shahinoglu also stressed the close relations between the leaders of the two countries. In addition, he clarified the prospects for relations between the two countries.

"Another main reason is that we also purchase military equipment from Belarus. This is also important for Azerbaijan. Whichever country we buy military equipment from, that country becomes one of our main partners. Belarus sold important missile systems to us in time, and although this caused serious concern to Armenia, they could not prevent it. At the same time, economic cooperation continues. "

The political scientist thinks that the development of events shows that Lukashenko will not leave power.

"It is true that the opposition has held protests and marches, and the pressure on Lukashenko is growing. However, he maintains his power, and I think he will try to stay in power for a while, both at the expense of domestic resources and with the support of Russia. "

The head of the Atlas Research Center also touched upon the influence of the Belarusian leadership on relations with Azerbaijan and compared it with the example of Georgia.

"A lot depends on the leaders in interstate relations. For example, when Saakashvili was president, Azerbaijan-Georgia strategic relations were at a high level, but now we see that sometimes the current Georgian government puts a sign of equality between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Even after the recent incident on the border with Armenia, the Georgian president's balanced statements caused us serious concern. Therefore, of course, if Lukashenko leaves power and a pro-Western leader comes, we do not know whether he will pay attention to Azerbaijan as before”.

The political analyst believes that Belarus always needs a partner like Azerbaijan, and this is due to a number of reasons.

"But I think Belarus always needs a partner like Azerbaijan, because our loans are good for them, and Azerbaijan's purchase of military equipment from Belarus means an increase in their revenue, given that Belarus's financial capabilities are not so great. In other words, no matter which leader comes, I think the partnership with Azerbaijan will not be pushed into the background. "

Finally, Elkhan Shahinoglu touched upon the example of Ukraine.

"For example, all Ukrainian leaders had close relations with Azerbaijan. Both Poroshenko and Zelensky attached importance to Azerbaijan. It is no coincidence that Zelensky first visited Azerbaijan during his trip to the South Caucasus. Ukraine was one of the countries we received the most support in the border incident. Similarly, despite the change of government in Belarus, the new leadership was compelled to consider partnership in relations with Azerbaijan".

Ulvi Ahmedli

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