Both history and borders are not constant. They are often in flux, especially if conflicts can serve some not so hidden agendas.
On 30th July, the self-described “independent” outlet OC media, which also happens to be funded by the Open Society Foundation, released an article stating that only Moscow benefits from rising Tbilisi-Baku tensions, referring to the recent flare up in David Gareja between Azerbaijan and Georgia.
The article begins with an alarmist tone, claiming that there is hateful rhetoric on both sides, and that only the Russian government can benefit from this. But first some background is required on the current disputed area around a 6th Century Monastery, which is on the border between the two countries and is known as the David Gareja Monastery in Georgia and Keşiş Dağ (Priest Mountain) or Keşikçidağ Dağ (Guardian Mountain) in Azerbaijan.
The rightful ownership of this monastery was rarely discussed either during or after the Soviet Union. Not until recently did it become a heated issue, taken advantage of by all sides. Even now it is only fringe nationalist groups and people looking to score political points who are discussing it, but the OC media article makes clear that this will not continue to be the case – foreign contenders have also entered the ring, with far more sinister proposals.
But what do these contenders have which will prove their unsubstantiated claims? No historic reference is given to the root of the problem, which lies in the former USSR , when this disputed territory was split between the Georgian and Azerbaijani SSRs, then ceded to Azerbaijan by Sergo Orjonikidze, who was later killed in Stalin’s purges, as a way of laying ticking time bombs.
Both Georgia and Azerbaijan have things to gain from this dispute. When the article states that ONLY Russia can benefit from it, this gives the impression that this article is shifting blame to another side to hide its own agenda. But it won’t remain hidden fort long, based on what we know.
Now is the future
The only thing the authors can cite in support of their rabid claims of rising tensions in the area is a mere two articles on the above-mentioned OC media site.