Azerbaijan, Baku, Nov.22 / Trend, M.Aliyev /
NATO is in need of the new "Article 4.5" format, expert on security issues and teacher at the Baku State University Bakhtiyar Aslanbeyli said at the International conference on "Ensuring Energy Security in the Caspian Basin and NATO's role in protecting critical energy infrastructure".
He said this format can be agreed in the mid of existing format between NATO member countries ("an attack against one state shall be considered an attack against all") and "consultation" format between NATO and partner countries.
Aslanbeyli underlined that the new format could be realised by signing an Individual Security Agreement between Azerbaijan and NATO.
"By signing of such agreement Azerbaijan can gain additional guaranties vital for its security, NATO member countries can declare their interests in the security of critical energy infrastructure in the region which are of vital importance for their energy supply, also NATO can seriously strengthen its positions in the South Caucasus," he said.
Aslanbeyli said that Azerbaijan's location in the complicated geopolitical region, existence in its territory of critical energy infrastructure with vital importance for energy supply to many European countries including NATO member states, the fact that neighbouring Armenia, occupied the territories of Azerbaijan, remains a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization security system, but Azerbaijan declared integration to Euratlantic structures as one of the main directions of its national security, in another neighbouring country, in Iran, different officials annouce the energy interests of Western countries in Azerbaijan as a main target in case of military intervention to Iran, urges Azerbaijan to be a member of a security system that could help to minimise such security threats.
"Of course, Azerbaijan's current geopolitical position, military potential, balanced foreign policy in the region serves as a solid background for the neutralization of existing security threats. But raising security relations (security guaranty) with NATO to higher level can positively influence the security situation of the country. Then, how those relations could be developed in addition to the PfP program. It is well known that the corner stone of NATO's activities - the principle of collective defence from the armed attack stipulated by Article 5 of North Atlantic Treaty applies to the member countries only. Of course, realization of the security guarantee in the format of the Article 5 is not realistic for both sides. Relations with partner countries are regulated mainly under Article 4 of the North Atlantic Treaty. But "consultations" meant in the Article 4 may not be satisfactory for the neutralization of existing security threats in decisive moments," Aslanbeyli said.