Migros under fire for war propaganda by partner Socar

Azerbaijan is acting as a warmonger in the conflict with Armenia - to the public applause of the state oil company Socar. Socar also operates the Migrolino gas stations, which is why Migros is now under criticism and must fear damage to its image.


Socar bluntly engages in war propaganda on social media. "Karabakh is Azerbaijan," for example, it says under a posted picture showing tanks under Azerbaijani flags (screenshot above). "What Socar says on their official facebook page published is nothing but war and hate propaganda against Armenia," Sarkis Shahinian, Honorary President of the Swiss-Armenian Society (GSA) and Secretary General of the Swiss-Armenian Parliamentary Group, tells Watson.

The war between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region reignited in September, resulting in the fiercest fighting in decades. According to neutral media reports Azerbaijan is considered to have escalated the conflict and to be the aggressor in the war over Nagorno-Karabakh.


Criticism already in 2012

Migros has close ties with the Azerbaijani state-owned group Socar. The latter operates Migrolino stores as franchise partners in various of its Swiss service stations. The cooperation with the Migros subsidiary exists, according to the Watson since 2012. Even then, Migros was criticized for its proximity to the Azerbaijani regime, which, according to human rights organizations, disregards human rights. Now this criticism is being voiced again.



"Migros is doing business with a warmonger," criticizes CVP National Councilor Stefan Müller-Altermatt at View. "When I buy a Schoggistängeli at Migrolino, part of the money goes to this war. That must not be." The fact that a company operating in Switzerland and a partner of Migros is engaged in war propaganda is "unbearable," Müller-Altermatt said in the Tages-Anzeiger.

The National Council now demands that Migros immediately terminate the contracts and that no further money from Swiss gas station customers flow into the war. Sarkis Shahinian announces that the Armenians in Switzerland - if Migros does not distance itself from Socar - will soon launch a media campaign against the retailer. They will "not mince words" - the lives of Armenian civilians are "non-negotiable" for Armenians in Switzerland. At a demonstration in Zurich on Thursday, the Armenian community in Switzerland called for a boycott of Socar gas stations.


Migros is keeping a low profile for the time being

How does Migros react to the harsh criticism? For the time being, cautiously and vaguely. "It goes without saying that Migros only enters into contracts in compliance with nationally and internationally applicable laws," is the wording used in the press release at the request of Watson and other media. It is therefore quite possible that the company will first have to make precise - and possibly momentous - clarifications before taking a clearer position on this explosive matter.


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