In response to a recent string of corruption allegations and international criticism, Azerbaijan’s authorities have identified a scapegoat: billionaire philanthropist George Soros.
Last week, investigative reporting by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) revealed a secret $2.9 billion slush fund linked to Azerbaijan’s ruling family. The fund was reportedly used from 2012 to 2014 as a means of bribing European politicians for political leverage.
The investigation has sparked severe backlash from Azerbaijan’s authorities, and they are blaming a traditional enemy – an ill-defined “Armenian lobby” – along with a relatively new bugaboo, Soros.
In a remarkable statement from the press service of Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev, Soros is alleged to have worked in collusion with Armenian activists to smear Baku’s government:
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