Scandal at the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry: a bribe of one million dollars for the post of ambassador to Ukraine

A large-scale renovation is underway in all spheres of the socio-political, economic and cultural life of Azerbaijan.
The Azerbaijani public supports the reforms of President Ilham Aliyev, which are of particular importance for the country during a pandemic.

Fundamental reforms have also touched the sphere of combating corruption, which has recently embraced many vital state institutions. The fight against this evil is carried out systematically, consistently, and the authorities are very determined here. Now Ilham Aliyev has further strengthened the policy of combating corruption and bribery. The President demands from every official legal and transparent activity.

In all former Soviet republics, the corruption system has taken root for decades, if not centuries. And this is a very serious problem for the newly independent states. Long-term experience shows that it is difficult to root out the corruption network in the post-Soviet countries completely and in the desired time frame. You have to take into account the local mentality and local characteristics. In this sense, the President of Azerbaijan is pursuing a bold and very risky policy. In recent months, large corruption schemes in the structures of the executive power have been revealed one after another in Azerbaijan. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan was not left out of this process either.

Against the background of all anti-corruption efforts, it is the situation in the Foreign Ministry that has recently become the subject of media attention. The matter concerns the scandal around the appointment of Elmira Akhundova as the ambassador of Azerbaijan to Ukraine. We are talking about a million dollars in bribes, which Akhundova’s son allegedly openly spoke to his friends. In particular, on his Facebook, he boasted that the issue of the appointment of his mother had already been resolved and after a while they would move to Ukraine, and life would become more fun. And for this business they “have already spent 1 million dollars”!

The media do not rule out that this may not be true. At the same time, this issue is extremely important for the local elites, since we are talking about the post of ambassador to friendly Ukraine and the prospects for the development and deepening of cooperation between the countries.

Heydar Aliyev attached special importance to relations with Ukraine. President Ilham Aliyev is successfully developing this line. Ambassadors with a clean image should contribute to this process within the framework of their powers. That is why the Azerbaijani media talk so much about the appointment of Elmira Akhundova as ambassador to Ukraine.

Leading political experts, as well as socio-political leaders also mention that Akhundova has close ties with Russian political circles and, possibly, serves the interests of the Kremlin. Such accusations from the public, as well as from some parliament members, can have serious consequences for Ms Akhundova. Moreover, there is enough scandalous information in the media regarding the corruption activities of Akhundova during her parliamentary term.

One of these scandals is connected with two apartments of Elmira Akhundova in the center of Baku. For them, as they write in the media, Akhundova paid millions in Azerbaijani currency. And it is completely incomprehensible where she got such amounts.

The second scandal concerns the question, is it possible to trust Akhundova’s words at all? And this question is important, because the word spoken or given by the ambassador is the position of his country. Some time ago, the Azerbaijani media spread information that Akhundova’s son was involved in the death of a popular Azerbaijani model on his yacht. First, Akhundova denied the information that her son was on the yacht when the accident happened. But a little later, under pressure from the press, she still had to admit that her son was on board, but since he supposedly cannot swim, he could not save the drowning girl. At the same time, before the tragic event, she claimed that her son swims very well. Where the truth is is unknown. However, it is clear that Elmira Akhundova does not always tell the truth and therefore it is very difficult to believe in her sincerity.

The public, political experts and some members of the country’s parliament are now paying attention to these issues again. They openly talk about the bribe as a fait accompli and demand that it be investigated by law enforcement agencies. In their opinion, too many facts indicate that Akhundova is directly related to the corruption system of Azerbaijan.

The local community welcomes the fact that the process of cleansing the government of corrupt individuals is in full swing. And that even high-ranking officials are forced to answer for their actions before the law. In many countries, the cleansing process is accompanied by complex issues and scandals. But the main thing, they say in Azerbaijan, is that in the end justice will

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