TODAY.AZ / Politics

Armenian act of flag burning criticized on Russian TV channel

17 April 2023 [14:41] - TODAY.AZ

By News Centre

TV and radio presenter Gia Saralidze and expert of the Valdai Club Farhad Ibrahimov analyzed the anti-Azerbaijani political action committed by one of the organizers of the European Weightlifting Championship in Yerevan - setting fire to the flag of Azerbaijan at the opening ceremony. Yerevan has not yet apologized for this provocation.
The burning of the Azerbaijani flag at the opening ceremony of the European Weightlifting Championships in Yerevan was a manifestation of the true course of the authorities of Armenia with regard to the Armenian-Azerbaijani settlement - a course towards an ever-increasing escalation of tension. TV and radio presenter Gia Saralidze and political analyst, expert of the international discussion club Valdai Farhad Ibrahimov talked about this on the air of the Formula of Meaning program on the Solovyov.Live channel.

Gia Saralidze called the flag burning a very unfortunate incident. "During the opening ceremony, a person who was involved in organizing the tournament set fire to the flag of Azerbaijan, which led to a very serious political aggravation," he recalled, asking the expert what Azerbaijan's reaction was.

According to Farhad Ibrahimov, Azerbaijan's reaction was unequivocal: such actions are unacceptable. “What hospitality of Armenia can we talk about when we saw this incident? Armenia claims to be part of the civilized world, but in a civilized community they don’t behave like that. I think that this will leave a very serious imprint on Armenia, since large international tournaments are strictly controlled to prevent such excesses from happening, and the Armenian organizers could not cope with the most elementary," he said.

"This impudent, boorish, disgusting behavior gives reason to believe that Armenia is not able to hold such events if it allows such incidents. This trick forced the Azerbaijani side to refuse to participate in the European Championship. Sports should be out of politics, but we see that "politics has very seriously penetrated the minds of sports and near-sports. In this sense, the flagrantly inadequate behavior of Yerevan has once again shown that it is incapable of either agreeing on anything or somehow getting closer," Ibrahimov stated.

"It would seem that events of this kind help countries that have been in conflict in the past to find common ground and somehow try to demonstrate a desire to live together. Azerbaijan demonstrates such a desire. It is difficult to say about Armenia. The burning of the flag gives reason to believe that Armenia, to Unfortunately, she is not ready to live and exist normally with Azerbaijan," the Valdai expert stressed.

Another expert, Georgy Saralidze noted that there was no official apology for setting the flag on fire. "At the state level, were there any apologies, regrets? I did not see this in the news feeds," he said.

This observation was confirmed by the political scientist. “At the level of official authorities, no one even apologized for this egregious incident. Neither the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, nor the government, no one. One deputy spoke and said that this was unacceptable, but he apologized only on his own behalf, this is not the official position of the authorities. From "Nothing followed from official Yerevan. On the contrary, someone tried to reproach Azerbaijan for taking advantage of the provocation - these words can only cause laughter, because such behavior does not fit into normal human logic," Farhad Ibrahimov said.

The political analyst noted that he himself expected a completely different outcome from the arrival of the Azerbaijani team to the European Championship in Armenia. "I was sure that this opportunity would be used to reduce tensions. After all, sports very often come to the aid of politicians when they need to establish contacts. We remember ping-pong diplomacy, and football diplomacy, and other options. It is very strange that what happened, because the incident only damaged the image of Armenia. It is not clear what was learned from this in Yerevan," he said.

“Let me remind you that for the participation of the delegations of both Turkiye and Azerbaijan in the championship in Yerevan, certain security guarantees were specifically stipulated, which were given by the Armenian state. And it could not fulfill these guarantees regarding the Azerbaijani team. I admit the idea that everything might have been done for this," Farhad Ibrahimov concluded.


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