Baku says VAK liquidation can negatively affect Russia’s mediatory role in Karabakh settlement
The liquidation of the All-Russian Azerbaijani Congress (VAK) against the backdrop of the Russian president's policy aimed at developing relations between ethnic communities and their more active participation in the country’s socio-political life is a source of great regret and surprise, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hikmat Hajiyev said in his interview to APA.
He noted that the organization took an active part in the socio-political life of Russia, played an effective role in the diversification of Azerbaijan-Russia ties and in the development of interregional cooperation. Hajiyev recalled that representatives of the Congress were repeatedly awarded by the highest leadership of Russia.
“The All-Russian Azerbaijani Congress existed as an organization uniting other numerous ethnic and national minorities living in Russia. The Congress was established as a non-governmental organization on the basis of the laws of Russia and in accordance with them. Along with the Congress, there are non-governmental organizations—such as the Union of Armenians of Russia—in Russia that unite various ethnic and national groups. As regards non-governmental organizations of national minorities in the political arena, we regard such discrimination against the Congress as an unfriendly step,” said Hajiyev.
The spokesman said he believes this approach will not serve the balance of interethnic relations in Russia, the concept of reforms conducted in the country, the strengthening of intercultural dialogue, and will not draw a positive reaction about Azerbaijan-Russia ties.
“In this step, we see a manifestation of ethnic discrimination and bias towards people who are citizens of Russia. Of course, if we come to the conclusion that the Armenian Diaspora has such a strong influence on Russia's domestic and foreign policy, then, undoubtedly, this kind of threat to the prospects for the development of Azerbaijan-Russia interstate relations causes us regret,” he added.
According to Hajiyev, such an incomprehensible and unexpected step in the conditions of the dynamic development and deepening of the Azerbaijan-Russia dialogue and multilateral cooperation in recent years shows how dangerous the impact of the Armenian policy on Russian-Azerbaijani relations can be.
“The Russian Federation, as one of the main mediators in the negotiation process for a peaceful settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict for years, has made important commitments. Conscientious fulfillment of these obligations at the same time requires that the balance of relations be maintained over the issue of settling interethnic relations and the principle of justice not be violated. The liquidation of the VAK and full support for the Union of Armenians of Russia can be perceived as a manifestation of an imbalance in relation to Russian citizens of Armenian and Azerbaijani nationalities, which can negatively affect Russia’s mediatory role in the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” he concluded.
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