Socar bluntly engages in war propaganda on social media. "Karabakh is Azerbaijan," for example, it says under a posted image showing tanks under the Azerbaijani flag (screenshot above). "What Socar says on their official Facebook page is nothing other than 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, told 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 company Socar. Socar operates Migrolino branches 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," criticises CVP National Councillor Stefan Müller-Altermatt at View. "When I buy a Schoggistängeli in the 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 an interview. Tages-Anzeiger.
The National Council is now demanding that Migros immediately terminate the contracts and that no more 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 the Armenian civilian population are "non-negotiable" for the Armenians in Switzerland. At a demonstration in Zurich on Thursday, the Armenian community in Switzerland called for a boycott of Socar petrol 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 by the press office when asked by 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.