ArmInfo.An Israeli political analyst, public figure, political commentator Avigdor Eskin in an interview to ArmInfo comments on the results of a five-day tour of Israeli Defense Minister to Azerbaijan, shares assumptions on the Baku talks. Eskin talks about the recent problems in Israeli-Russian relations, shares his vision of prospects in relations between Armenia and Israel, Iran's role in regional geopolitics.
Five out of six days of his visit to Georgia and Azerbaijan Defense Minister of Israel Avigdor Lieberman spent in Baku. In your opinion, what are the reasons of such a full agenda, excluding imports of fuels and arms export of Israel to Azerbaijan?
Defense Minister Lieberman is known for his longlasting ties with Azerbaijan. I will not be surprised to learn that Lieberman could just have a rest for a couple of days in Azerbaijan, away from everyday problems. It is also known that Lieberman, during the Azerbaijani interaction, also met with representatives of Erdogan's government in Baku. Despite Israel's very difficult relations with Erdogan’s regime, the contacts of Jerusalem with Ankara, nevertheless, are maintained. The coming wave of refugees from Iran to Azerbaijan was one of the topics of Israeli-Azerbaijani talks. If Americans do not abandon the idea of tough sanctions against Tehran in November, Iran will inevitably face collapse. It may happen in November, or a little later, but a wave of refugees from Iran, one way or another, is inevitable. And, of course, some of them will inevitably migrate to Azerbaijan. The possibility of inadequate actions on the part of the Iranian leadership towards Azerbaijan should not be excluded also. And in this case, Baku can benefit from the Israeli experience of functioning in crisis situations. Of course, there were other topics for discussion during the Baku agenda of the Israeli minister. With confidence and knowledge of the matter, I can say one thing- Lieberman did not discuss in Baku Armenia and its conflict with Azerbaijan.
The results of Lieberman's visit to Azerbaijan were almost not covered either by Azerbaijani or Israeli media. Is it possible that agreements on consolidated political and other pressure on Iran were reached during Baku talks and what role can supplies of Israeli weapons to Baku play in this issue?
It should be emphasized that Israel has never supplied and will not supply weapons to Azerbaijan. Israel has sold weapons to Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan today is a free market. By the way do you know that Russia sells three times more weapons to your Azerbaijani neighbor that Israel does? Baku will not take part in military operations against Iran and will not provide its territory to anybody for such actions. However, Azerbaijan has every reason to fear cataclysms in the course of the coming Iranian internal unrest. Plus, in the Western press there were publications about the active work of American and Israeli intelligence in Azerbaijan along the Iranian direction. By the way, there were also publications that Americans actively work on the same issue in Armenia.
Israeli Defense Minister visiting two recognized republics in South Caucasus did not come to Armenia, which jointly with Artsakh has a quite long border line with Iran. Is such a demonstrative step caused by Yerevan's refusal to join anti-Iranian sanctions and intention to establish a free trade zone on the border with Iran. Or whether Israel is not interested in Armenia anymore?
I think this is not a right question. There were cases when Israeli politicians visited only Georgia or only Armenia. If relations between Armenia and Israel develop visits of our high-ranking leaders to Armenia will be quite possible. But can you tell me who of your ministers has visited Israel in recent years? Relations between our countries are developing slowly. ''Armenia's Ambassador to Israel'' is in Yerevan. By the way, what has he done in several months of work? I personally am interested in cooperation with Armenia. As of today Israel is undoubtedly world leader in high technologies. Armenia’s intellectual potential is very high. We could cooperate successfully. Most likely this will happen once regime is changed in Iran and crisis ends there. At the same time Israel should realize that Armenia is in a state of protracted crisis. And no light is seen at the end of tunnel.
Armenia is going to send Armenian military within Russian forces to Syria. And this happens in the background of Moscow’s direct accusations of Israel in shooting down Il-20 plane. Could you present your assessment of such a motivation and possible consequences of this initiative?
Honestly, right from the first days of civil war in Syria I considered Assad as the evil of a lesser kind there. Israeli-Syrian border was completely calm since 1973 until launch of war in Syria. Unfortunately, western sanctions made Moscow a monster backed into a corner. The internal situation in Russia is very complex at the moment. And we should be receptive to failures in Russian policy. Russia more often demonstrates displays of divorcement from reality and lack of restraint. We have seen how Russian politicians and political experts reacted to change of power in Armenia. Now Israel has become the whipping boy. Unfortunately, all this weakens Russia and deprives it of allies. As for Armenia's participation in military operations in Syria it will not become an obstacle for us. Thus, I suggest Armenian leadership to first better study the situation in Syria.
Actually, Moscow has already accused Jerusalem in ingratitude for a whole number of counter steps in Syria and situation around Syria. In your opinion, what influence the incident with Russian plane shot down over Syria can have on Russian-Israeli relations?
We have seen how recently Russian politicians and political experts threw mud at Armenia. This happened and is over now. The same will happen in relation with Israel. You realize, that no person will seriously consider that our planes, which were in 600km away from Latakia at the moment of incident, are to blame for the crash. But I will not argue with Moscow. One should be sympathetic to Russia nowadays. It is in complex situation: pressure from outside and growing instability inside the country. I hope all this can be fixed and cured.
The Iranian authorities have already connected the terror attack on September 22 in Iranian Akhvaz leading to 30 victims, with actions of the USA and Israel along with other countries and forces. What is your version? Who were the initiatiors and what are the goals of the terror attack?
Stupidty of such kind is not worth even response. Demoniacs in Iran demonstrate with their stupid statements that they are overwrought and their days are numbered. –l-