EDITORIAL – The never-ending dispute of Armenia and Azerbaijan for the region of Nagorno Karabakh with Russia and Turkey behind each of the opponents, is back in the international spotlight after the recent fights emerging in the region. As mediators prepare to meet in Geneva, officials say up to 75,000 people have been forced to flee fighting in the breakaway region.
It was no surprise that Armenia and Azeri Eurovision participants immediately started using the social media showing their patriotism and dedication to their nation’s armies, both sides wishing for peace but no one willing to lose the region, which obviously is strategic for both pro-Western and Russian interests. So, those two nations play the usual game of politics for mineral wealth.
Since their co-existence in Eurovision, both nations made sure they will not even try to co-exist in the designated Eurovision areas. Every year seems that both participating countries make sure they create a fuzz about their political disagreements inside the Eurovision borders.
- 2006: First ever Armenia entrant André was described by the EBU pages as born in the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh, practically recognizing the region as independent making the Azeri government going frantic.
- 2009: After Azeri protests, the mountains of Nagorno Karabakh monument was skipped from the Armenian postcard as originally was requested by the delegation. Armenians responded by showing footage from that monument during their own national broadcast.
- In 2009 there were enough calls to give Azerbaijan 1 point from Armenia and 43 cast their votes for Armenia. It is rumoured (profoundly though) that security services in Baku called those 43 who voted for their rival accusing them of treason. Azerbaijan declines the rumours but EBU fined the Azeri delegation with 2,700 Euros.
- In 2012 originally participating nation, Armenia finally withdraws under the fear of retaliation. EBU fined Armenia for overdue withdrawal.
- In 2015 it was so obvious to everyone that Geneology was performing a 100-anniversary from the Armenian genocide- song but the delegation was kept claiming it was a non-political song, all about love and unity. The original title DON’T DENY was forced to change into FACE THE SHADOWS.
- In 2016 Iveta Mukuchyan waved the viewers with the use of a Nagorno Karabakh flag although EBU clearly stated that no other than the participating nations’ flag is allowed by the audience or participant to be used. EBU fined the Armenian delegation. The same year there was also a video (which was never allowed to us to use it) showing Iveta pushing Samra in the corridors of the bubble area.
- The same year Samra and Iveta almost confronted each other in the press conference of the semi-finals qualifiers, with Iveta attacking Samra and surprisingly a calm Azeri representative holding her dignity by responding with a reference to music.
In terms of voting Armenia seems to have been more open to voting for Azerbaijan as they gave them points in the 2008 semi-final and 2009 Grand Final.
Since 2014 new system, with which the juries are ranking all the songs, both countries rank each other’s entries in the last position. Slight exceptions (which didn’t provide scores anyway) were when in the 2016 and 2017 semi-final Azerbaijan ranked Armenia 14th out 17 entries and in the 2017 semi-final when Armenia ranked 16th out 17 entries the Azeri one. In 2019 Armenia ranked Azerbaijan as 11th in the semi-final and 18th in the Grand Final.
With the dispute ongoing Iveta tried obviously to take media attention referring to her rejection by NDR for Eurovision 2021 claiming that she was declined the chance to go to Eurovision due to her 2016 incident, causing an immediate reaction by NDR saying that it’s their policy not to send in Eurovision an artist who already appeared in the past, rather than a political one.