EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell found himself in an uncomfortable position during the debates at the European Parliament, during which Azerbaijan's latest military aggression against Armenia was discussed.
The Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) raised questions about the EU's double standards when it comes to Armenia and Azerbaijan, there were calls to abandon Azerbaijani natural gas, considering that Azerbaijan, as an aggressor country, only understands force, and therefore the EU also should go this way and show force. One MEP said that for the EU leadership, Azerbaijani natural gas is more important than the blood of Armenians. Borrell, however, was outraged by this comparison, which he called "absurd," and urged the lawmakers to ask questions.
When asked whether the EU can play the role of a mediator in order to achieve stable and long-term peace in the South Caucasus, Borrell said he hopes so, but I cannot guarantee it.
When asked if he is ready to discuss sanctions against Azerbaijan, the EU foreign policy chief said as far as he knows, none of the EU member states has raised this matter, and, as they know, the matter of sanctions needs to be raised by the member states.
When asked whether he condemns the war crimes committed by the Azerbaijani soldiers who shot unarmed Armenian prisoners to death, Borrell said, of course, and he always condemns war crimes—regardless of where and by whom they are committed.
The EU foreign policy chief said he has always condemned the violations of human rights, they called for an investigation and to bring the perpetrators to justice. He said the respective videos are terrible and, of course, they require an investigation, and Azerbaijan has said that it will do so and that it is investigating these cases.
Borrell noted that the EU and the OSCE have also announced that they are ready to investigate, that it was an attack on the territory of Armenia, the Azerbaijani troops have occupied a part of the territory of Armenia, there is a call for the withdrawal of these troops, and they have done everything depending on them to settle the situation. Borrell added that, naturally, they have announced the need to bring the perpetrators of human rights violations to justice.
And speaking about Turkey's role in all this, Borrell noted that the EU uses all the tools at its disposal to try to have some bearing on Turkey's respective position. He said, of course, Turkey continues to help Azerbaijan, and it can use its influence to reduce the tension in relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan and play a positive role in establishing dialogue between the two countries—and for the benefit of all the people who have suffered from the recent war.