What Will Happen to Lapshin?
Will Azerbaijan have soured relations with Israel because of the Lapshin case? Today it is one of the most frequently discussed issues, like the question of what to do with this man.
Logically, there should be a full investigation and a court sentencing. The investigation is likely to find out who sponsored and initiated Lapshin’s trips and his anti-Azerbaijani activity.
On the announced charges (illegal border crossing and incitement against the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan) the blogger faces several years in prison, and by and large, Lapshin cannot be considered an innocent lamb.
The actions of official Baku in this matter can be considered a diplomatic success, as it for the first time managed to bring to justice a person who showed demonstrative disregard for the sovereignty of the country. At the same time, the geopolitical situation was in Azerbaijan’s favor on the background of deteriorating relations between Minsk and Moscow.
However, the main problem is not only the punishment of Lapshin, but a way out of this situation. Israel is unlikely to remain indifferent to the fate of its citizen, and will insist on his extradition.
Baku is unlikely to deteriorate its relations with Israel because of the blogger and will try to use the situation as much as possible. The most likely scenario is an investigation, prosecution and trial with the man’s repentance followed by a pardon and the transfer of the convicted to the Israeli authorities.
Whatever it is, it is important not only to carry out all the procedures competently, but also not to press too much.
Thus, the first steps in this regard caused surprising, to put it mildly. For example, why was it necessary to send commandos armed with assault rifles to the Baku airport to meet Lapshin? Who required this act of intimidation?
The photos of the blogger taken away by commandos with submachine guns, replicated worldwide, will long wander on the Internet, and be used as an example of human rights and freedoms violations in Azerbaijan.
Of course, for those who wish to travel to Karabakh and blame Azerbaijan the example of Lapshin will be deterrent. However, there is an example of Soso Pavliashvili, who also went to Karabakh and talked about its independence and openly supported Armenians. However, Soso was recently received in Baku with great fanfare, and gave a concert in the Heydar Aliyev Palace, where he was invited namely by Emin Agalarov, despite the insistent demands of the public not to do so.