By Vafa Ismayilova
Azerbaijan has condemned as unacceptable a pro-Armenian Russian MP's remarks on Azerbaijan.
In a statement posted on the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry's official website on January 25, Spokesperson Leyla Abdullayeva said: "We strongly condemn the use of unacceptable expressions against the state and people of Azerbaijan by Vitaly Milonov, a member of the Russian State Duma from the ruling United Russia party and well-known for his strong pro-Armenian stance, in an interview with the Armenian media."
Abdullayeva recalled that Vitaly Milonov, who is known for his tough pro-Armenian stance against Azerbaijan, had been included in the list of foreign citizens banned from entering Azerbaijan for illegally visiting the country's liberated territory in violation of Azerbaijan's relevant legislation.
The spokesperson added that the next provocative step taken by Milonov against Azerbaijan "is completely contrary to the high-level relations between Azerbaijan and Russia".
"Such irresponsible behaviour of a member of the State Duma, which does not correspond to the official position of the Russian Federation, is an attempt to overshadow the relations between our countries. His speech also undermines the steps taken by the countries of the region, including Russia, to end years of hostility and ensure peace, security, and cooperation among peoples," Abdullayeva stressed.
She noted that the Azerbaijani-Russian strategic partnership is developing intensively with close contacts between the two countries' presidents.
"Attempts to undermine these relations by using the status as a member of the State Duma are unacceptable and doomed to failure," Abdullayeva said.
Some news sources report that in 2012, a number of well-known figures in Russia signed an open letter with a request to deprive Vitaly Milonov of his deputy mandate. Later, member of the Federation Council K. Dobrynin turned to the Russian Prosecutor-General's Office with a request to check Milonov's interview with the online publication Slon.ru for extremism, since, in his opinion, the deputy's statements contained calls for genocide, inciting hatred and ethnic conflicts.
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