Anna Hakopyan’s participation in the Third Summit of First Ladies and Gentlemen held in Kyiv on September 6, was not received unambiguously in other countries, including Azerbaijan, just like her own country. Because Hakopyan’s insincerity in many steps taken together with Pashinyan is a long-known fact, for Azerbaijan and Azerbaijanis, this time the position of the Ukrainian side was met with more surprise and regret.
The most surprising thing was that Ukraine invited to this event Armenia-the closest ally and strategic partner, and who is, as they say, joined at the hip with Russia, whom Ukraine is waging war with and which it considers an aggressor. The participation of the first lady of Russia's ally Armenia at the summit at the invitation of President Zelensky's wife Olena Zelenska could not but raise questions.
There is no one who does not know that Armenia owes its actual existence to Russia. Just with the Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova’s address to the Russian-Armenian media forum held in Armenia, one can see which role Russia plays in social, economic, cultural, military, and other fields of Armenia’s life.
Armenia is an ally with Russia in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and Eurasian Economic Union, Russia has a military base in Armenia, Armenian borders are protected by Russian border guards, Armenia’s economy is entirely reliant on Russia, etc. In other words, figuratively, "Armenia is Russia".
In what logic does it fit to invite the First Lady of such a country to Kyiv?
There are also reports that Hakopyan took humanitarian aid with her on his way to Kyiv. The point is that the Russian-Ukrainian war has been going on for more than a year and a half. During this time, Armenia has not once shown any open support for Ukraine on any platform. And it is sending the first humanitarian aid to Ukraine only now.
Azerbaijan has shown its position in the Russia-Ukraine war from the first day. Support for the territorial integrity of Ukraine has been constantly demonstrated both at the level of the head of state and other platforms. Azerbaijan has not spared humanitarian aid to Ukraine since the beginning of the war. The list of aid that Azerbaijan has sent to Ukraine since the beginning of the war is quite long. It is worth mentioning some of them.
In connection with the situation in Ukraine, under the instructions of the country’s leadership, Azerbaijan sent nearly 550 tons of humanitarian aid with a total amount of over 23.2 million manats to Ukraine on February 27 and March 12, as well as to Moldova for Ukrainian refugees on April 15 of current year.
On April 21 of this year, Azerbaijan sent 3.37 million manats worth of medicines and medical consumables, as well as 1 million manats worth of food products, for the purpose of humanitarian aid to the people of Ukraine.
Taking into account the appeal received by Ukraine, the next humanitarian aid was sent to Ukraine on June 9 this year under the instructions of the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev.
The humanitarian aid includes two VA150KS mobile diesel pumps with a capacity of 400 cubic meters for pumping sewage, more than 1000 meters of collection pipeline with a diameter of 200 millimeters for pumping sewage, 10 motor pumps with hoses, 20 underwater pumps, 5 inflatable tires boats, 24 heating dryers, 20 waterproof jackets, 40 sets of summer and winter clothing sets each, 40 pairs of waders and 40 pairs of rubber boots, 41 pairs of long fishing boots, 9 rubber overalls, 208 life jackets, 50 life rings and 42 life jackets.
On July 17 of the current year, President Ilham Aliyev signed an Order to allocate 7.6 million dollars (manat equivalent) from the Contingency Fund of the President of Azerbaijan for the purchase and shipment of electrical equipment for the purpose of providing humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
Other than that, Azerbaijan has sent tons of fuel to Ukraine, and the SOCAR gas stations in Ukraine have provided fuel for special-purpose vehicles free of charge since the beginning of the war. A group of children who suffered from the war in Ukraine was brought to Azerbaijan, and camps and trips were organized for them. In return, the First Lady of Ukraine invites and welcomes the First Lady of Armenia - the country in a state of actual war with Azerbaijan, as an honored guest, and says word of gratitude to her.
During the 44-day Patriotic War, Ukraine did not provide any support or humanitarian aid to Azerbaijan. Even if Azerbaijan does not need it, official Kyiv has not even tried. Ukrainian officials sometimes refrained from making even simple statements. While international law recognizes Garabagh as a part of Azerbaijan, Ukrainian officials have been wary of expressing this.
In general, until 2014 - until the annexation of Crimea by Russia, Ukraine did not unequivocally defend Azerbaijan's position on the Garabagh issue on any platform. Only after Ukraine was subjected to occupation, after experiencing the aggression that Azerbaijan faced for many years, did it make relative corrections in its position. It didn't even make it to the end. Even today, it is possible to see the non-objective approach of Ukrainian officials, experts, and politicians to the Garabagh issue.
It is just one of such facts that Armenia, like other countries, used the Ukrainian ambassador as a tool for the show it started regarding the alleged closure of the Lachin road and the delivery of humanitarian goods to Khankandi. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Armenia assembled the ambassadors from their country and brought them to the border with Azerbaijan's Lachin region at the end of July, making them observe trucks waiting there to show that the road was supposedly closed. Seeing Alexander Senchenko, the ambassador of Ukraine to Armenia among those diplomats was really embarrassing. The ambassador of Ukraine could not participate in the Armenian MFA’s "humanitarian crisis" show on his own in any case, this step was taken in agreement with Kyiv. Inviting Anna Hakopyan to the summit showed Kyiv’s purpose behind this action.
If Ukraine and its authorities do not take into account the steps taken by Armenia so far, Armenia’s relations with Russia, which Ukraine considers its number one enemy, will be their problem. Inviting Anna Hakopyan to Ukraine, and giving her an opportunity to address the event is not only an unpleasant attitude towards Azerbaijan but also against Ukraine's own interests.
The First Lady of Azerbaijan was invited to this event too, but she refused to go. Time has shown how correct the Azerbaijani First Lady’s decision was.
Ukraine should be aware of the steps they take that will harm relations with Azerbaijan. Ukraine needs to be more honest in its relations with Azerbaijan.
Kyiv shouldn’t forget that Baku has always treated a friend like a friend and an enemy like an enemy. Seeing the double standards that have become the disaster of the world today in the example of Ukraine is not pleasant and Kyiv itself will suffer more from this.