Blocking of RIA Novosti news agency - move not long in coming
By Fuad Muxtar-Aqbabali
When the Russian state-funded RIA Novosti news agency carried a bogus interview with a self-styled “Karabakh state minister,” Azerbaijani relevant state agencies could not stand it any longer and a compelled countermove was finally made.
The Azerbaijani Ministry of Digital Development immediately moved in and the access to the RIA Novosti news agency was restricted across the country. Frankly speaking, the move was not long in coming as the aggressive political and military separatism cannot any longer be endured by the Azerbaijani public and government.
Prior to the move, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Leyla Abdullayeva termed the publication of the interview as damaging to the Baku-Moscow relations, violating Azerbaijan's territorial integrity by discrediting Russia's role as a mediator in the Baku-Yerevan peace process in the wake of the 2020 Karabakh war.
Well, this was actually not the first attempt by the RIA Novosti as well as others to spread reports against Azerbaijan's territorial integrity. Since the early years of Azerbaijan’s independence, the public has seen and read thousands of libelous, unfounded, and one-sided reports about the nearly 30-year-long Karabakh conflict.
However, the current realities state different approaches to interstate relations. The reason behind my argument is that the triumphant Azerbaijani army under the leadership of Supreme Commander-in-Chief President Ilham Aliyev has succeeded in restoring the nation’s territorial integrity in just 44 days, eliminating the self-styled, illegal entity in Karabakh.
On the other hand, the Russian media outlets, strictly observing their own media watchdog’s taboo on reporting about the Kremlin war in Ukraine, do their best to instigate separatism in the part of Karabakh where the Russian peacekeepers are in charge temporarily.
No way, Jose! By sticking fingers in your ears, you cannot hide the truth and it needs to be told and served. The move was justified in response to the Russian Roskomnadzor’s bans on several Azerbaijani media outlets for carrying balanced reports on the war in Ukraine.
As a maxim goes, people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Time is on our side and the protection of our national interest is a mission sacred among millions of others.