ArmInfo.In an interview with ArmInfo, MEP Fabio Massimo Castaldo said he is disappointed with the European Parliament lacking a clear position on Artsakh.
Growing exports of Azerbaijani gas to Europe does not explain the EU not committing itself to defend Armenia's legal request to ensure the rights of Armenians not only in Armenia, but also in Nagorno- Karabakh, whose people has been blockaded for many months, lacking food and other essential products to live in their Homeland, the MEP said.
According to him, energy security of important for Europe as the war in Ukraine made Europe diversify energy sources. However, when it comes to rule of law, the EU's assistance in human rights protection, international legal order, through mediation and dialogue, cannot be a subject of mere business interests, the MEP said.
Mr Fabio Massimo Castaldo believes that there is a link between the EU's attitude to the blockade of the Lachin corridor and to Azerbaijan with its energy resources. Of course, Josep Borrel has never said such a thing, but everyone remembers the head of the European Commission praising Baku and calling it a reliable economic partner. Of course, Baku could be a major economic partner, but can it be a "reliable" one? And if such relations with an authoritarian regime are desirable, similar relations must be established with all others instead of satisfying the one that can be more economically beneficial to the European continent, the MEP said.
He demands that the Italian government take a clear position as well. When an opposition politician, the incumbent premier of Italy, Giorgia Meloni, publicly raised the problem of protection of the Artsakh Armenians, pointing out the common Christian roots, whereas now her government is not only strengthening relations with Azerbaijan, but is also selling arms to Baku. The old message is in conflict with what position the premier should take to be really just and principled, the MEP said.
He calls on the EU to take an explicit position without fearing to defend its principles, instead of being weak against the strong and strong against the weak. Double standards undermine confidence in the EU, Mr Fabio Massimo Castaldo said.
As regards the European Parliament's calls for sanctions against Azerbaijan, the MEP expressed doubts about their being approved. However, sanctions would be fully justified. If drastic measures have been applied against Russian, which was absolutely necessary, why the same cannot be done in the case of Azerbaijan, which attacked Armenia's sovereign territories to expand its borders, seeking the opening of the so-called "Zangezur corridor" to Nakhichevan.
It is not the way of settling international conflicts. The right way is dialogue and negotiations. Armenia's position is quite clear: Yerevan can grant the right to traveling via Armenia's territory, but with respect for Armenia's sovereignty.
As to Armenia's recognition of Nagorno-Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan, the MEP said that Armenia's Premier Nikol Pashinyan has to capitulate as he has remained alone, as Russia is not involved in Armenia's defense as it was before. At the same time, Ankara is fully supporting Baku in implementing its own anti- Armenian agenda.
If sanctions had been applied against Azerbaijan in 2020, without mere verbiage, the situation would be different now. The question is why the EU's approach to Armenia is not the same as its unanimous position on Ukraine. It is evidence of the EU lacking a coherent policy, in conflict with its geopolitical agenda. Mr Fabio Massimo Castaldo's wish is to see similar approaches to similar situations. Otherwise, the impression is that geopolitical factors play a dominant role for the EU. The MEP expressed his full support for the Armenian people, and at least three MEPs are ready to defend the truth.
As to the EU mandate, Mr Fabio Massimo Castaldo said he understands high-ranking officials that have to use diplomatic language. However, concrete actions are needed. The EU monitoring mission was the first step, but the mission's power must be expanded, with more observers involved. Otherwise, there will be a threat of new violence not only along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, but also in Artsakh, the MEP said.