Politics 15:56 09/02/2017

Famous blogger Lapshin’s extradition to Azerbaijan will create serious problems both for Baku and for Minsk, experts say

Russian and Israeli diplomats are working to get permission to see Alexander Lapshin, member of Knesset Kseniya Svetlova, who actively participates in the struggle to free the blogger, told RIA Novosti. 

According to her, the Israeli consul is not allowed to meet Lapshin. “The Israeli Consulate is working on that. I know that the Russian Consulate is also trying to get access to him,” Svetlova said.

Meanwhile, commenting on Lapshin’s extradition to Baku, Russian business website BFM writes that Russian citizen Alexander Lapshin’s extradition to Azerbaijan is an unprecedented case and one of Belarus’s unfriendly acts towards Russia. Oil and gas dispute, which is slightly being politicized, threats with sharp deterioration of trade and economic relations between the two countries. 

“It is an unprecedented case, and it is clear that it caused such a reaction in Moscow. This is a certain diplomatic demarche, in other words, we have to study the case against the sharp deterioration of the Russian-Belarusian relations, energy conflicts, which are now emerging between Minsk and Moscow,” Andrey Kortunov, Director General of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC), said highlighting that there may be quite serious consequences.

In his words, there must be at least a tough political statement on inadmissibility of such kind of measures, and it may be followed by some negotiations, which can help to achieve compromise.

“I think Lukashenko takes a serious political risk, he has to realize that the Russian authorities do not usually make concessions under pressure, in other words, it is not convenient to speak to Moscow in that language. For Belarus, the possible alliance with Azerbaijan can in no way replace the partnership with Moscow because of economic, geopolitical, historic, and other reasons,” Kortunov emphasized.

In his turn, Andrey Suzdaltsev – deputy dean of the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs of Higher School of Economics (HSE) and expert on CIS countries – told BFM that Lukashenko has always sought to “sell” people.

“It is hardly the first time that he had traded with the West with political prisoners and released people for some indulgence and concession by the West. Then he arrested new people and released them again. It is kind of a trade. However, recently his ‘trade’ has become systematic,” Suzdaltsev said.

The expert noted that Belarus gave the blogger to Azerbaijan in a quite demonstrative way, and Russia’s opinion on the case was completely ignored. “In other words, it was done on purpose. Lukashenko needs all that for oil and money,” Suzdaltsev highlighted.

Opposition politician Stanislav Shushkevich, former head of Supreme Soviet of Belarus, also thinks that Lukashenko needs the Azerbaijani oil.

“Lukashenko will be pleased to do something kind for Azerbaijan hoping to be praised by the Azerbaijani authorities, and he will have a trump card for improving the situation by receiving the Azerbaijani oil. It is quite clear that the case has political nature,” he said.

According to political scientists, Moscow’s response will not be far behind. It is noted that the situation is getting worse also because of Belarus’s gas debt.

Meanwhile, the Caucasian Knot writes that the famous blogger’s detention in Minsk coincided with another cold snap in the Russian-Belarusian relations. Although Belarus is one of Russia’s main allies being a member of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and CSTO military alliance, noticeable tension emerged between Moscow and Minsk in 2016-2017. The conflict began, when the Belarusian side tried to reconsider the price of gas supplied by Russia and pay 73 dollars for thousand cubic meters, instead of 132. Besides, the Belarusian president stated that he had agreed with alternative suppliers for oil supply, including Azerbaijan, Iran, and Kazakhstan.

Meanwhile, Haqqin.az writes that LDPR leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky condemned the decision of Belarus’s president Alexander Lukashenko to extradite Russian citizen Alexander Lapshin to Azerbaijan.
“Belarus ruled to extradite Lapshin to Azerbaijan; he faces eight years of imprisonment there for visiting Karabakh. It is idiotic, he has the right to be where he wants, he is a Russian citizen,” the parliamentarian said.

In his words, “Great Belarus” gave the Russian citizen to “throw to the wolves in Baku.” “It is very good, partisan Lukashenko achieved great success,” said Zhirinovsky ironically.

In his turn, commenting Lapshin’s extradition on the website of the newspaper Vzglyad, Andrey Epifantsev said that it is a very dangerous precedent not only for the post-Soviet space, but also for the whole world in general. According to him, if the organizers of the case get away with it, various states can begin to persecute dozens and hundreds of thousands of Russian citizens across the world on the basis of queries to Interpol because of their visits to “gray areas” and give them to other countries, which claim that territories.
The expert thinks that if Baku treats Lapshin with dignity and respect, and “does not try to do anything like that any more, as if in a nightmare,” only unpleasant feeling can be left after the case.

“However, if Lapshin becomes the second Ueldanov, who has been in prison in Azerbaijan for more than half-year (on other charges), Russia has to answer with tough repressive measures, which will make senseless Baku’s any attempt of that kind in the future. It may be a quite significant change in Nagorno-Karabakh’s status-quo in favor of Armenia,” Epifantsev said.

In his opinion, Israel acts in a similar way, because this case is unacceptable. Azerbaijan is similarly vulnerable in the relations with Israel, which is very demanding to such cases.
Alexander Lapshin writes a blog in which he records his travels throughout the world. On December 13 he and his wife arrived in the Belarus capital, Minsk. A day later, Lapshin wrote on his Facebook page that he had been arrested at the request of Azerbaijan. He faces sentence from five to eight years of imprisonment.
After his visits to NKR in 2011 and 2012, Lapshin’s name was placed on Baku government’s blacklist. The Azerbaijani prosecutor general issued an international warrant for Lapshin’s arrest not only because of his visits to NKR, but also because of his posts, in which he expressed his support for the independence of the region.

“Mr. Lapshin received a consular service by our diplomats. We know he is also a citizen of Israel. We look to take all measures to solve the situation with due respect for the rights of a Russian citizen, who is a citizen of Israel at the same time,” the minister noted.



Source Panorama.am
Share |

Newsfeed

17:00
Italy fines hairdressers for using shampoo amid heatwave
The mayor of an Italian town has banned hairdressers and barbers from shampooing their customers’ hair twice in an attempt to conserve...
16:45
Key U.S. House appropriations panel proposes $60 million for Armenia, needs assessment for Artsakh
The U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations has called for $60 million in U.S. aid to Armenia, $2 million for Artsakh...
16:30
Rain, thunderstorms expected in Armenia
Rain and thunderstorms are expected in some parts of Armenia from 29 June to July 4, the Hydrometeorology and Monitoring Center reports, adding...
16:15
Jivan Gasparyan bust to be unveiled at Komitas Pantheon
A bust of legendary Armenian duduk player Jivan Gasparyan will be unveiled at Yerevan’s Komitas Pantheon on 6 July to commemorate his...
15:35
UN appeals for $110 million for Afghanistan quake victims
The United Nations said Tuesday it had launched an emergency appeal to help hundreds of thousands of people in areas of Afghanistan ravaged by...
15:16
Relatives of captured soldiers clash with police outside Russian Embassy in Yerevan
The parents and other relatives of Armenian soldiers, who were taken prisoner by Azerbaijani forces in Artsakh in 2020, on Wednesday staged a...
14:30
Armenia's first Museum of Illusions to open in Gyumri
Armenia's first Museum of Illusions will open in the second largest city of Gyumri on July 6, the museum said on Wednesday. The museum...
13:56
Yerevan and Baku's positions on unblocking transport links coming closer, deputy PM says
The working group chaired by the deputy prime ministers of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia on the unblocking of regional communications has been...
13:36
Johnson says If Putin were a woman he would not have started Ukraine war
Boris Johnson has claimed that Vladimir Putin would not have launched his “crazy, macho” attack on Ukraine if he were a...
13:15
Armenian fallen heroes' mother gives birth to baby boy
The mother of police officers Gevorg and Karen Gevorgyans, who were killed defending Artsakh in the 2020 war, has given birth to a baby boy....
12:37
Residents of Artsakh's Aghavno village refuse to leave under any circumstances
Life in the village of Aghavno in Artsakh’s Kashatagh continues as usual despite the threats of deportation. At an online press...
11:49
Khachkar found near monastery in Artsakh's Martakert
Employees of Artsakh’s State Service for the Protection of Historical Environment have discovered a khachkar (cross-stone), among others,...
11:24
Mystery rocket crash creates new double crater on moon
The moon has a new double crater after a rocket body collided with its surface on March 4, CNN reports. New images shared by NASA's...
11:12
Armenia denies Azerbaijani reports of shooting
The Defense Ministry of Armenia has denied Azerbaijan's accusations of cross-border shooting. “The statement of the Azerbaijani...
11:00
After a century, bankrupt Turkey wasting huge sums to deny the Armenian Genocide
By Harut Sassounian Publisher, The California Courier Turkish government’s denial of the Armenian Genocide is as futile as a man...
17:00
China cuts COVID quarantine period for international travellers
China will halve to seven days its COVID-19 quarantine period for visitors from overseas, with a further three days spent at home, Reuters...
16:45
Congressmen alarmed that Biden again approves U.S. military aid to Azerbaijan
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA)...
16:30
Rain, thunderstorms expected in some parts of Armenia
Rain and thunderstorms are expected in some parts of Armenia from 28 June to July 3, the Hydrometeorology and Monitoring Center reports, adding...
16:06
Politician: Armenian ambassador hasn't yet handed over his credentials to Russian leader
Armenian Ambassador to Russia Vagharshak Harutyunyan, who took office in January, has not yet handed over his credentials to Russian President...
15:34
Armenian parliament majority 'divided' on ouster of opposition MPs, speaker says
The Armenian parliament leadership affiliated with the ruling Civil Contract party will soon discuss stripping opposition lawmakers boycotting...
14:58
Opposition leader: There is only one way to save Armenia and Artsakh
Opposition leader and deputy parliament speaker Ishkhan Saghatelyan again accused the incumbent Armenian authorities of plotting new territorial...
14:26
Russia sanctions 25 US nationals, including Biden’s family members
Moscow has imposed retaliatory sanctions on 25 US nationals, including President Joe Biden’s family members, for their Russophobic...
14:12
Analyst urges Armenian authorities to invite Minsk Group co-chairs to Yerevan
Political analyst Suren Sargsyan urges the Armenian authorities to invite the OSCE Minsk Group mediators to Yerevan. "France and the...
13:36
Opposition MP: Armenian authorities preparing people for 'new big concessions'
Tigran Abrahamyan, a lawmaker from the opposition Pativ Unem (With Honor) faction, on Tuesday reacted to Nikol Pashinyan’s latest...
13:01
US looks forward to Minsk Group's continuing work – State Department
The Russian co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group has turned down an invitation by his U.S. counterpart to discuss Nagorno-Karabakh’s future,...
12:36
Armenia's NSS reveals another high treason case
Armenia’s National Security Service (NSS) has uncovered another high treason case involving an army officer. The serviceman,...
11:56
Monkeypox cases rise to more than 3,400 globally, WHO says
More than 3,400 confirmed monkeypox cases and one death were reported to the World Health Organization as of last Wednesday, with a majority of...
11:46
Armenian, Turkish special envoys to meet in Vienna on Friday
The next meeting of the Armenian and Turkish special representatives for normalization of relations will take place in Vienna on Friday, July 1,...
11:26
Armenia and Armenian people 'have no allies', analyst says
Armenia and the Armenian people “have no allies”, according to political analyst Hrant Melik-Shahnazaryan. “We are alone...
11:13
Russia defaults on its foreign debt for first time since 1918
Russia defaulted on its foreign debt obligations for the first time since 1918 on Monday, according to Moody’s. "On 27 June,...

Follow us and get updates!

Most popular articles

{"core.blocks.header.spell_message1":"Selected mistake: ","core.blocks.header.spell_message2":"Send a message about the mistake?"}