By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova has said that Russian MP’s recent visit to Azerbaijan's separatist Nagorno-Karabakh region does not reflect Moscow’s official stance on the conflict.
Zakharova was commenting on the illegal visit of First Deputy Chairman of the Russian State Duma’s Committee on CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration and Relations with Compatriots Konstantin Zatulin to Khankandi in Nagorno-Karabakh region on October 11 where he had made a number of statements against Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity.
Zakharova said the Russian FM’s position on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the ways to resolve it is well known and it remains unchanged.
“As for the politicians, in particular, the Russian politicians, representatives of the legislative branch or people representing the civil society who make relevant statements on this topic, we proceed from the fact that they express their personal point of view,” Zakharova said. “This can be an expert point of view or a political statement. One way or another, the official point of view on this issue is expressed by the relevant official structures,” she added.
The spokesperson stressed that if the citizens visit the territory of the former Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Region and seven adjacent administrative regions without special permission of the Azerbaijani authorities, the Azerbaijani side will ban further visits of these citizens to Azerbaijan.
"This is a relevant warning which applies to everyone and covers the position of the Azerbaijani authorities on this issue," Zakharova informed.
Zakharova said the Russian side works with the documents agreed between the parties to the conflict and the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs that mediate the peaceful resolution of the conflict.
She emphasized that the task of the mediators is to accelerate the peace process as much as possible.
"For our part, we have always called on the parties to such a constructive approach. We are realizing this task, as it seems to us, as consistently as possible and urge everyone to constructive work, constructive steps in this sphere," Zakharova stated.
She mentioned that there are agreed formulations, the agreed documents, as well as agreed agenda for moving forward.
Earlier, the Azerbaijani embassy in Russia sent an official note to the Russian FM 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 FM to take the necessary measures.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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