In the evening of July 4, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev convened an extraordinary meeting in connection with the energy crisis and the complicated situation caused by it. It is noteworthy that the head of the State Security Service Madat Guliyev also attended the meeting, which allows making far-reaching assumptions.
During the meeting, an unusual incident took place: Aliyev did not allow the keynote speaker on the issue - the director of the state company "Azerenerji" Etibar Pirverdiyev to finish his speech. The President of Azerbaijan lost his balance and made two very important statements. First of all, he stated that the reasons for what had happened are unacceptable for him, as well as that the cause of the man-made disaster was only the abnormally hot weather. "There are many countries in the world where the climate is also hot but there are no such accidents, and even if something happens, the entire power system of the country is not paralyzed because of this", - Aliyev said.
Thus, he embarrassed those officials who explain the repeated shutdown of electricity throughout the country by the fact that because of the heat, the volumes of electricity consumption increased by 40%, which caused a linear overload, leading to equipment failure. "How could the accident at the Mingechaur hydroelectric station cause a malfunction in the operation of the rest of the power plants?", - Aliyev asked, making the second significant statement: "In past years, we made major investments in the energy sector, and where is the result?".
The President of Azerbaijan thus questioned the purposefulness of state investments. Simply put, he suspects the heads of the relevant bodies of inefficient spending and theft of funds. However, more importantly, during the meeting Aliyev assessed the situation several times as "systemic paralysis".
In fact, the situation in Azerbaijan is more serious than it may seem at first glance. A complete power outage across the country caused numerous problems. It becomes clear from Aliyev’s speech that, in particular, the technical cycle of oil production, transit of oil and gas and oil refining has been violated, which requires time and significant additional funds to restore it. He did not specify, but touched upon the issue of the emerged complications in the military sphere.
It is worth noting that the power outage occurred on the day when large-scale military exercises were launched, and it is possible that serious technical problems arose in the issue of command and control. The general impression is that Ilham Aliyev has serious suspicions about the failure. During the above-mentioned meeting, he threatened that all those responsible would be identified and severely punished. A criminal case was opened. At the same time, an expert commission was established headed by the director of the Institute of Physics of the National Academy of Sciences of Azerbaijan, which will study the causes of the man-made disaster.
This means that Aliyev does not trust the formed state committee, headed by First Deputy Prime Minister Yagub Eyyubov, does not trust the technical specialists of the sphere, and therefore attracted independent experts, who were obliged to report personally on the conclusions.
We can assume that Aliyev suspects the responsible of spheres and assesses what happened as sabotage, which was aimed at provoking a wave of discontent among the population and thus generating anti-government sentiments. What happened in real, probably, we will not know. However, in the near future, high-profile resignations can be expected in Azerbaijan.
It is not excluded that some state officials can be brought to justice. But this will not be enough either. The accident at the Mingechaur HPP and the related power outage again revealed the vulnerability of the infrastructure of this country and it is already shifting the issue of Azerbaijan's regional significance to a completely different dimension.