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YEREVAN.- Israel played an important role in pardoning of the blogger Alexander Lapshin by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Director of the Institute of International and Security Affairs, analyst Stepan Safaryan told Armenian News – NEWS.am.

According to him, when Lapshin was detained on  December 20, 2016, both Russia and Israel behaved rather carefully.

"I think, all remember how Lapshin's wife said that no meeting with the consul was taking place. I think the reason was the following: both Russia and Israel hoped that the issue would be resolved differently. The situation radically changed when Aliyev reached agreement with Lukashenko, and the blogger was extradited to Baku.

The main processes came at the time when both countries understood that Aliyev would not be satisfied by confession of Lapshin that he did not know he had been violating the law. And even after these words, he was still sentenced to imprisonment in Baku," Safaryan said.

According to the analyst, after that signs of tension appeared in the Russian-Azerbaijani and Israeli-Azerbaijani relations.

"And Lapshin was not the only problem of Russia. There are also other Russian citizens in Baku, including those of Armenian origin, who are also charged with criminal offences. Baku let’s know all the time that if Moscow wants to solve their problems, then it must put pressure on Armenia and release Kalbajar’s saboteurs. But, eventually, this Russian-Azerbaijani deal did not take place,” the political scientist said.

But the interference of Israel, according to the expert, yielded result.

"During the same period the story with the Israeli drones came out. It is worth mentioning that Israel took far-reaching steps, publishing, for example, information about Aliyev's business transactions, then starting an investigation concerning drones, depriving  the license of the Aeronautics company. As a result Aliyev was forced to take a unilateral step to avoid tense relations in the future," Stepan Safaryan concluded.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, however, on Monday signed an order to pardon Alexander Lapshin.

 

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