By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijani Ambassador to Russia Polad Bulbuloglu has said that Baku is taking relevant measures to repatriate Azerbaijani citizens stranded at the Russian border amid the closures of borders over COVID-19.
Bulbuloglu made the remarks at an online press conference “Russia and Azerbaijan: Horizons of Strategic Cooperation” held on May 29.
He reminded that thousands of Azerbaijan citizens are stuck on the land border with Russia.
He also thanked the southern Russian republic of Dagestan that has given temporary shelter to the Azerbaijani citizens on the border.
“We are doing our best so that these people could return to their homeland as soon as possible. I would like to take this opportunity at this conference to express my great gratitude to the leadership of Dagestan, the people of Dagestan, who helped our citizens in this difficult situation. We have repeatedly appealed to them [Azerbaijani citizens] to not gather at the border, but they can also be understood. They have lost their jobs, and go there in the hope of crossing the border as quickly as possible. As of mid-March, over 7,500 Azerbaijani citizens have already managed to return to their homeland. After the conversation of Vladimir Putin with Ilham Aliyev, more than 400 people managed to return by the land border in this short period, through Samur [border crossing point]. 175 of our citizens were repatriated by plane. Everything is being done to relieve people of their difficult situation today," Bulbuloglu said.
The problem related to Azerbaijani citizens was raised during the discussion of the epidemiological situation in Dagestan with Russian President Vladimir Putin. This was followed by a telephone conversation between the presidents of Russia and Azerbaijan on May 18, who agreed on a step-by-step passage of citizens across the border.
It should be noted that temporary accommodation center (TAC) were set up in Dagestan’s Magaramkent region bordering Azerbaijan on May 16, for the Azerbaijani citizens who couldn’t return homes.
Azerbaijan has repatriated over 20.000 citizens from Moscow, Istanbul, Kyiv, Minsk, Iran, Tashkent (Uzbekistan), Riga (Latvia), among other countries so far.
Azerbaijan first introduced special quarantine regime on March 24 and the third stage of quarantine regime easing came into force May 18.
As of May 31, Azerbaijan has registered 5.246 COVID-19 cases and 61 coronavirus- related deaths so far. The total number of recovered patients is 3.327.
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