LONDON – It operates from an exclusive Mayfair address and throws lavish parties for politicians of all parties. Ostensibly an independent trade body, The European Azerbaijan Society (TEAS) regularly takes members of Parliament, members of the European Parliament and British government officials on trips to the former Soviet state, where they are put up in luxury hotels.
On previous trips, members of the Council of Europe visiting the capital, Baku, are among those to have been treated royally. According to one insider: “These are real vacations and there are many expensive gifts. Gifts are mostly expensive silk carpets, gold and silver items, drinks, caviar and money. In Baku, a common gift is 2 kg of caviar.”