Baku and Yerevan enter SCO family
Experts from Azerbaijan and Armenia commented on the fact that their countries have received the status of SCO dialogue partners. For example, the Deputy Director General of the Trend information agency, political commentator Arzu Nagiyev, said that the SCO was originally created to strengthen confidence in the military sphere between Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan with a special status.
"No matter how many times they said that the SCO is not a military bloc, its main goal is a safety, including the unification of the parties in combating terrorism, separatism, extremism and drug trafficking," the expert said.
"In this situation it is difficult to determine the benefit for the forces of Azerbaijan in this organization. As an observer or partner, our country may be present in the organization as a supporter in the fight against terrorism, extremism and drug trafficking, and be engaged in expansion markets for their resources, or in searching for solutions of problems in economic terms. Let me remind you that China wants to create a common space in the near future and Azerbaijan has very different plans and prospects," Arzu Nagiyev noticed.
According to him, Azerbaijan would prefer to maintain the status of a dialogue partner with the SCO in the near future, not moving further along the path of integration into the organization.
The president of the Baku Interbank Currency Exchange, Farhad Amirbayov, in his turn, praised the fact that Azerbaijan has gained the status of SCO dialogue partner, but also expressed confidence that the country will remain in this status for a long time. "We aren't talking about integration, in any case, it's too early to talk about it. The states which agree to such integration steps pursue multiple targets at once, and now there are lots of non-economic factors, and once again the most important thing is the factor of security," he believes.
The director of the Caucasus Institute, Alexander Iskandaryan, speaking about the benefits for Armenia from the new SCO dialogue partner status, drew attention to the fact that it is still far from getting benefits from the specific interaction with the organization. "The President of Russia spoke about a form of interaction, not integration, Armenia is not even an observer in the SCO. As for the benefits, Armenia is trying to maintain relations with all possible countries and groups of countries," the expert said.
"It's pretty early to talk about the full participation of Armenia in the SCO. Armenia has quite favorable relations with China and Russia, that is, this direction in Armenian politics can be expanded gradually. You can imagine Armenia as an observer country, for example, but it's too early to talk about membership," Alexander Iskandaryan concluded.