Monday, September 3, 2012

Beginning of September: Embarassing

September has begun, chilling South Caucasus.
And unveiling how embarrassing it can be.

Like a cold shower the deliver of Ramil Safarov to Azerbaijan shocked Armenian public opinion.
Before this traumatic event the debate was all about the arrival of Syrian Armenians, fleeing from Aleppo, Damascus, in need of everything, including language courses, driving licences and so forth...
And then, suddenly, a long negotiation reached its end and Ramil Safarov came back to homeland, Azerbaijan, as a hero.

In 2004, during a NATO training in Hungary Safarov hacked with an axe an Armenian engineer serving in the army, while he was sleeping. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Azerbaijan, apparently, asked the Hungarian authorities to let Safarov serve the sentence in his homeland, which in the end was agreed.
As soon as he landed in Baku, he was pardoned, granted the rank of major and an apartment, plus last 8 years salary.

A bad story, gone worse.
It mostly happened during the weekend, which gave, hopefully, time to everybody to develop a proper strategy to defuse tension.'Cause Armenian reaction was clear and strong, as predictably. US also made quite a statement.

Caution seems to prevail among other actors. But Hungary image has been damaged by voices of an alleged flow of Azerbaijani money.
Not to mention the image of Azerbaijan: it's impossible to come to terms to such a celebration of a private case of murder, even taking into consideration that the perpetrator was displaced during the Karabakh war.

The whole case and reactions, at ground level, just unveils how deeply - and embarrassingly - Azerbaijanis and Armenians hate each other. Since last weekend, a bit more, if possible.

In Georgia, in the meanwhile, OSCE observation mission started to release its first notes about the political environment before elections.
In few words, about the "much ado about Ivanishvili" basically created by the government itself.
There's a lot of room for growing embarrassment here, as well. And the official election campaign has just started.