YEREVAN (Armenpress)–Vladimir Karapetian, a spokesperson of Armenian ministry of foreign affairs, was asked by a local news agency to comment on a statement by Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev who was quoted by Azeri media as saying there could be no comparison between Armenia and Azerbaijan in terms of economic development and international reputation.
Vladimir Karapetian said, “Judging from the volume and tone of commen’s from Azerbaijan’s president, there is a clear sense of desperation in Azerbaijan. After all, on all fronts, without any exception, Azerbaijan is either behind the international standard or going against prevailing international trends.
First, there is panic with regard to the international community’s increasing understanding concerning issues of self-determination.
Second, on economic and social issues, Azerbaijan’s rankings are problematic. In an unfortunate coincidence for him, the president’s commen’s about their economic strength and their state-building achievemen’s came on the heels of three different reputable international indices which demonstrate that there is reason for the panic, and that the president’s commen’s are simply aimed at misleading his public.
The Heritage Foundation Wall Street Journal’s Economic Freedom Index has Armenia at 28th, near the top, while Azerbaijan is 107 out of 162 countries rated.
In the Freedom House rankings of the democratic standings of states, Armenia is considered Partly Free, while Azerbaijan remains Not Free, as in years past.
The Foreign Policy Index of Failed States, in a study of 177 countries, Armenia is 50 places above Azerbaijan. There is hardly an international index, including those of Human rights and Freedom of Speech, where Azerbaijan’s ranking even approaches Armenia’s.
Furthermore, according to World Bank data, despite Azerbaijan’s enormous resources, they have barely caught up with Armenia’s per capita income.
Finally, with all their rhetoric on military strength, experts predict that, at this rate of growth and military buildup, Azerbaijan will require 10-15 years to begin to challenge Armenia’s armed forces.
Given all this, these baseless Azerbaijani statemen’s simply offer their own population false information thus diverting them from the real challenges that they face.”