By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Russian MP Konstantin Zatulin’s illegal participation in an event in occupied Khankandi does not correspond with Russia’s official position, spokesperson for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Leyla Abdullayeva said on October 14.
Konstantin Zatulin, Deputy Chairman of the Russian State Duma Committee on CIS Affairs, who is known for his ardent pro-Armenian stance, visited occupied Nagorno-Karabakh on October 11 to attend a so-called forum in Khankandi.
During the forum, Zatulin made a number of provocative statements. In particular, he urged for the recognition of the illegal regime set up in occupied Nagorno-Karabakh. He went so far as to claim that Moscow promotes relations between Russia-Armenia-Nagorno-Karabakh, although Russia officially recognizes Nagorno-Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan.
"Zatulin’s illegal participation in the ‘forum’ and his groundless statements, which are propaganda against Azerbaijan, absolutely do not correspond with Russia’s official position,” Abdullayeva said.
She added that Zatulin was included in the corresponding "black list" due to his illegal visits to the occupied Azerbaijani territories.
The ministry spokesprson emphasized the strategic cooperation ties between Azerbaijan and Russia are developing intensively thanks to the close contacts of the presidents of both countries.
"Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s participation in the recent meeting of Valdai Discussion Club and his bilateral meeting with the President of Russia Vladimir Putin within the event testify to this," she added.
Abdullayeva further stressed that amid successfully developing cooperation between Azerbaijan and Russia, the activities of individuals such as Zatulin are aimed at harming relations between the two countries.
"However, despite these provocative efforts, relations between Azerbaijan and Russia will continue to develop successfully," she concluded.
Meanwhile, Regional National-Cultural Autonomy of Moscow Azerbaijanis has addressed a letter to the Chairman of the Russian State Duma Vyacheslav Volodin and Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov regarding Zatulin’s visit. In the letter they have asked for clarification over Moscow’s official position on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The autonomy of Moscow Azerbaijanis posed the following questions in their letter: "Who invited Zatulin to this forum? Do all his statements represent the official position of the Russian state, the State Duma of the Russia Federal Assembly? How do you assess the conformity of his statements with the position of the State Duma Committee on CIS Affairs? What does an unjust solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict mean?”
Apparently, Zatulin does not possess knowledge about the process of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict resolution, which implies the withdrawal of Armenian troops from Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions, as well as the restoration of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, which is reflected in UN Security Council resolutions 822, 853, 884 and 884.
At the same time, Azerbaijani embassy in Russia sent an official note to the Russian Foreign Ministry on October 15.
In this note, the Azerbaijani embassy expressed concern over Zatulin’s participation in a forum in Khankendi, which was organized by the illegal regime created in the occupied Azerbaijani territories.
The Embassy also asked the Russian side to clarify its stance with regards to Zatulin's statements that openly support separatism, question Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and damage the existing high-level cooperation between Azerbaijan and Russia.
The Azerbaijani Embassy also wanted to know in which capacity Zatalun visited occupied Nagorno-Karabakh and who financed the visit. The embassy reminded that Zatulin periodically makes provocative statements about the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict by distorting historical facts and attempting to justify Armenia’s policy of occupation.
In the end, while emphasizing the fact that Zatulin, as the MP, must be responsible for his words and deeds, the embassy asked the Russian Foreign Ministry to take the necessary measures.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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