Yerevan /Mediamax/. Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said that his country “indirectly becomes a military ally to NATO.”
Answering the question of one of the participants of the “Shaping the Geopolitics of the Greater Eurasia: from Past to Present to Future” conference in Shushi on May 3, Ilham Aliyev, in particular, said:
“Becoming a military ally to Turkey, Azerbaijan indirectly becomes, to a certain degree, a military ally to NATO.
There was, for several years, a kind of misperception of the road to Euro-Atlantic integration.
Yes, Azerbaijan did not engage formally in any form of agreements. We even did not sign an association agreement with the EU, unlike some of the members of the Eastern Partnership Program. But that was not because we did not want to be closer. To my mind, the association agreement is not an agreement in a normal sense of the word. It is just a list of instructions, which have been presented to those countries which joined this format.
We have chosen the different path. We signed strategic partnership agreements and declarations with nine members of the EU. So, this is one third of member states. And strategic partnership declarations have much higher value than association agreement.
The same with NATO. NATO promised Ukraine and Georgia 15 years ago to become member states. I was present at the Bucharest NATO Summit, when Ukraine and Georgia were denied by some leaders of some leading European countries from the Membership Action Plan. But instead, it was announced that they will become a member. When? Nobody said. 15 years have passed. But we signed an agreement with the second NATO member state with respect to the potential of the army and this is serious. So, we always have chosen the paths of practical steps rather than declarations, which then did not transform into tangible results.”