West’s snub of Baku European Games reminiscent of Sochi

West’s snub of Baku European Games reminiscent of Sochi
# 28 June 2015 08:09 (UTC +04:00)

Baku. Malahat Najafova – APA. “West’s snub of Baku European Games is reminiscent of Sochi,” Dmitry Babich, a political analyst with Sputnik radio, said in his article posted on RT.com, APA reports.

“The start of the Games is the main event of the decade for this young nation, which had only 2.5 years to prepare for it. A call by Bundestag and several Western-supported human rights activists to boycott the Games was seen as a direct insult by many. Compared to the nasty campaign against the Sochi Olympics in Russia in 2014, the Bundestag’s resolution and derogatory stories in the European press about the “clannish regime” in Baku (which somehow organized excellent venues for competitions as well as a grandiose opening ceremony) may have seemed insignificant.

Here is what Aliyev had to say: “Our independent foreign policy is not to everyone’s liking. This campaign was visible in 2012 when Baku hosted the Eurovision contest, now our foes are quite disturbed by the European Games in Baku... This is an anti-Azerbaijani campaign, steered from one or few foreign centers. Its aim is to throw dirt at our country, presenting Azerbaijan as a backward, undemocratic, unfree country. All of this campaign is built on lies, of course”. In March 2015, the Western media largely ignored this statement of the Azerbaijani president. Then in May 2015, at the summit of the Eastern Partnership in Riga, Azerbaijan first “showed teeth” to Europe’s masters from the EU and the US.

Here is another quote from the Bundestag’s resolution which actually makes a direct link between the campaign against the European Games in Azerbaijan and the campaign against the Olympic Games in Sochi: “There is a widespread opinion among representatives of the sports organizations and unions, that having sports events on territories of certain countries can give a push to the democratization of these host countries,” the Bundestag’s resolution says. “But the experience of the recent years demonstrates that these expectations are not realized. The summer Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008 or the winter games in Sochi in 2014 – these games did not lead to an improvement of the human rights situation. Their effect was the exact opposite to the desired one”,” said the article.

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