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Hrant Gadarigian

Baku Accuses EU’s Borrell of Pro-Armenia Bias

Azerbaijan has angrily reacted to remarks made by EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Monday calling on Baku to return to substantive peace and normalization talks with Armenia.

Borrell, after a meeting of the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council, said the latest territorial claims made by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev are “very concerning.”

“Any violation of Armenia’s territorial integrity will be unacceptable and will have severe consequences for our relations with Azerbaijan,” Borrell said, referring to Baku’s ongoing demand for an extra-territorial corridor through Armenia connecting Nakhijevan with the rest of Azerbaijan.

“The blatant misinterpretation of facts by the EU High Representative is an open disregard of Azerbaijan’s legitimate interests, and such threatening rhetoric is a clear example of double standard that further exacerbates Azerbaijan-EU relations,” an Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesperson said today.

Baku accused Borrell of instigating militarization and an aggressive policy towards Azerbaijan.

Baku also derided Borrell for expressing solidarity with France after Baku ordered the expulsion of two French Embassy staffers in December. Paris responded by expelling two Azerbaijani diplomats.

In November, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev accused France of inciting conflicts in the Caucasus by arming Armenia.

Borell didn’t specify what steps the EU might take if Baku fails to return to the negotiating table with Armenia.

Last September, days after Azerbaijan’s military offensive against Nagorno Karabakh, Borell said the EU would strongly respond to the “forced displacement of the civilian population through military or other means.”

While the European Parliament adopted a resolution in October 2023 condemning Azerbaijan’s “unjustified military attack” against Nagorno Karabakh, no EU sanctions were ever imposed on Baku.

In 2022, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen travelled to Baku and hailed Azerbaijan as one of Europe’s more “reliable, trustworthy” partners. Ursula von der Leyen agreed to double Azeri gas imports by 2027.

Despite the French Senate adopting a resolution last week calling on the French government to impose sanctions on Azerbaijan over its September 2023 military offensive in Nagorno Karabakh, French President Emmanuel Macron has argued that sanctions against Baku would be counterproductive.

Photo: Trend News Agency

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