A change of the Russian Ambassador to Azerbaijan has become the most discussed topic among experts in Baku.
According to the Head of the Centre for Policy Studies “Atlas” Elkhan Shahinoglu, on November 27 Vladimir Dorokhin finalized his work as an Ambassador of Russia to Azerbaijan, by the decision of the President of Russia Vladimir Putin, and will return home. Dorokhin worked in Azerbaijan for 9 years. It is a long time. But why does Putin change Dorokhin right now? On July 5, the state-Duma of Russia appointed Georgy Zuyev – Deputy Director of the Personnel Department of the MFA of Russia, an Ambassador of Russia to Azerbaijan.
In the article on Vesti.az, the political scientist writes: “according to various sources Zuyev has links to FSB Russia”.
And if all that is rumors, there is a reasonable question: it’s been four months since Georgy Zuyev was appointed an Ambassador to Azerbaijan. Why can’t he take office?
Official Baku opposes the appointment of Zuyev as an Ambassador to Baku. The political circles of Azerbaijan are sure that Zuyev comes to Baku on a special mission. Presidential elections are to be held in Azerbaijan next year and there is a risk of Russia’s meddling. That’s why it is desirable for Baku to have a diplomat like Dorokhin in their country.
Leonid Kalashnikov, the head of the state-Duma’s committee on Commonwealth of Independent States Affairs, Eurasian Integration and Relations with Compatriots said that a diplomat, who currently works as an Ambassador of Russia to one of the CIS States, will be appointed as a new Ambassador to Azerbaijan. Kalashnikov noted that Zuyev’s candidature is not considered(?!). But Zuyev was appointed by the same Duma.
It is an interesting situation. On one side we have information that Sergey Lavrov promotes Zuyev’s designation as an Ambassador to Baku. On the other side, the Head of the Commitee of the Parliament of Russia rejects talk about Zuyev’s appointment. It turns out that Moscow hasn’t decided whom they will appoint yet. But if Moscow will finally choose Zuyev and Baku will oppose it, it smells like a scandal.
Vladimir Dorokhin, in his turn, made a statement concerning relieving him of his duty as Ambassador of Russia to Azerbaijan. It says: “I came to Azerbaijan almost 10 years ago with a clear political instruction – to strengthen relations with Azerbaijan. It was not difficult to run this errand. I had all the doors opened. Azerbaijan seeks the same as Russia – strengthening of our relations. It is also worth noting other Dorokhin’s words: “Russia and Azerbaijan are different in scale, mentality and culture. These countries have different political interests”.
Dorokhin’s hidden messages may be understood as: not everything is smooth in relations between Azerbaijan and Russia and there are many pitfalls. He sort of tells his successor that it is not simple to work in Azerbaijan and it is necessary to compete with interests of other countries and Turkey in Baku. Dorokhin is right”.