Why is the quarantine being extended? Why are the land borders not opening?
Baku/19.04.23/Turan: Azerbaijan's special quarantine regime has been extended until July 1, 2023, in a move aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus infection (COVID-19) on the country's territory. The decision to extend the regime was signed into law by Prime Minister Ali Asadov. The move has left many citizens wondering why land borders are not being opened to all citizens, and why the government continues to keep them closed.
According to economist Natig Jafarli, it is becoming increasingly difficult to justify the extension of the special quarantine regime by citing the coronavirus as the main reason. "There are no more countries in the world that are in quarantine mode. The last such country was China, but even there, after January 8, all restrictions were lifted, all borders were open," he notes.
Jafarli adds that the government's persistent refusal to open land borders is causing serious damage to the population, and that it is clear to everyone that this is not related to COVID-19. While the most common explanation is related to security, particularly tense relations with Iran and the Russian-Ukrainian war, these reasons are becoming increasingly dubious.
According to Jafarli, neighboring Georgia and Armenia have open borders despite being hardly stronger than Azerbaijan. The version related to the Russian-Ukrainian war is also questionable, as the entire flow of Russian relocants has already been absorbed by Georgia, Kazakhstan and Armenia. Additionally, there are at least 20 flights from Russia to Azerbaijan every day, making it difficult to believe that the government is concerned about a flood of relocants from Russia.
As the special quarantine regime in Azerbaijan continues, many citizens are left wondering when land borders will finally be opened, and why the government continues to keep them closed despite the lack of a clear justification.