Nagorno Karabakh – “new Afghanistan” of the region - ANALYSIS
Baku. Vugar Masimoglu – APA-Analitik. “Poppy is the only winner of long-lasting war in Afghanistan. This flower is the true field commander that is seizing new territories every day,” said Afghan journalist Azil Ahmed. The role of Afghanistan in drug trafficking shows how right the journalist is.
Afghanistan has been considered the starting point of the illegal drug trafficking in the Eurasian continent for many years. A variety of drugs planted in this country, which is the world leader in the production of heroin, are trafficked to Russia and Europe through different routes.
Unfortunately, Azerbaijan is still playing the role of a transit country in this process. According to international reports, three drug trafficking routes that start in Afghanistan pass through Azerbaijan. These routes are Afghanistan-Pakistan-Iran-Azerbaijan, Afghanistan-Iran-Azerbaijan and Afghanistan-Central Asia-Azerbaijan. The international organizations making this reports, do ignore the existence of another route that has had an important role in drug trafficking for many years for some reason. This is the Nagorno-Karabakh playing a role of "new Afghanistan" in the territory.
The last operation carried out by the Ministry of National Security of Azerbaijan proves these views once again. It was revealed that a large amount of drugs seized in the operations, had been produced in the Nagorno-Karabakh. Imprisoned Iranian citizen Asgar Abraham said that dried marijuana seized from him had been cultivated in the occupied territories by the Armenians. The testimonies reveal that a) drugs cultivated in Nagorno-Karabakh is able to compete with the drugs produced in Afghanistan for their quality, b) these drugs are transported to Azerbaijan and other countries through Iran and sold here, c) Drugs are cultivated by the Armenian officers and soldiers in the Nagorno-Karabakh.
It is not difficult to come to a conclusion. While the territories occupied by Armenia have been previously used as transit territories for drugs, the situation has already changed. Nagorno-Karabakh has begun to fulfill the role of Afghanistan in the world of drugs. A large amount of drugs were planted and cultivated in these territories which are out of the international control and high quality drugs are trafficked to the European and Russian markets through Nagorno-Karabakh-Iran-Azerbaijan-Russia, Nagorno-Karabakh-Iran-Azerbaijan-Europe, Armenia-Georgia-Black Sea-Europe routes.
Azerbaijan has repeatedly raised issues at the level of international organizations that the territories out of the international control had become an important point in drugs trafficking. The State Commission on Combating Illicit Drug Trafficking has appealed to the international organizations to include the aforementioned routes in the report. However, these appeals have not produced results yet and due to the international organizations’ indifferent attitude, new “drugs factory” has emerged in the region that is able to compete with Afghanistan.
Drawing parallels between Afghanistan and Nagorno Karabakh area is not unreasonable. Both territories are located in hot spots and have borders than can not be controlled. The borders of Afghanistan with Iran and Pakistan are uncontrolled areas in terms of natural and geographical conditions. 132 km-part of Azerbaijan-Iran border occupied by Armenia is fully uncontrolled area.
On the other hand, drugs in both regions are being cultivated by servicemen, this process in Afghanistan has always been under the supervision of field commanders and officers of the occupying army are playing the main role in this process in Nagorno Karabakh.
There is only one difference, this process in Afghanistan is beyond the control of the government. But the cultivation and production of drugs in Nagorno Karabakh region are directly being carried out under the control of the Armenian government. The sale of narcotic substances produced in “empty areas” in the European and Russian markets achieves a large amount of revenue and it compensates a part of military expenditures of Armenia, where is a serious economic situation.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has made public the name of the countries, which have achieved the objectives in the fight against hunger. Armenia is also among the four post-Soviet countries. The official statistics, unemployment and poverty, severe demographic situation, the energy dependence on Russia and Iran clearly indicate the "economic development" level of the country. Armenia’s budget is in poor condition and the transfer of donations by Diaspora can not eliminate the budget deficit. How can a country that is trying to exist at the expense of subsidies, can achieve the goals of the United Nations in the fight against hunger?
There is only one answer. The elimination of the budget deficit can only be possible as a result of the transfer of funds acquired through illegal activities. Drug trafficking is the main area of illegal activities that brings higher incomes. Armenia uses the occupied Nagorno Karabakh region both for drug production and drug trafficking and transfers the profits of these illegal activates to the state budget as “the donation of Diaspora”.
No country, which was isolated from all regional projects, whose economy is paralyzed and 2/3 of the population flew abroad, can eliminate budget deficit through donations and no one can prove the contrary. In these conditions, the economic stability of Armenia does not conform to any economic theory. This reality proves that Yerevan has made the smuggling of drugs and weapons a part of the public policy. But the international community close eyes to it, just like the fact of occupation.
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