Access to the agency’s website has been restricted in Azerbaijan since the evening of June 3.
Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency published an interview with Artak Beglaryan, one of the separatists in Karabakh. The agency once again questioned the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan, presenting the territory in Karabakh under the temporary control of Russian peacekeepers as the “Nagorno-Karabakh Republic” and Artak Beglaryan as “Minister of State”.
RIA Novosti’s move was met with strong protests in Azerbaijan. Some media outlets called for an adequate response to this step, RIA Novosti, as well as the blocking of Sputnik in Azerbaijan.
The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry also issued a statement condemning RIA Novosti’s action.
“The dissemination of slanderous and separatist information by the Russian state news agency, which contradicts the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, does not correspond to the spirit of friendly relations between Azerbaijan and Russia, and thus is deeply regrettable.
This step of the state agency is contrary to the provisions of the Agreement on Friendship, Security and Strategic Partnership between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Russian Federation of 1997 and of the Declaration on Allied Interaction of 2022 “to refrain from any activity directed against the principles of the UN Charter and the sovereignty and territorial integrity of each other” , as well as “counter the threats of separatism.
The spread of provocative statements by the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti casts a shadow over efforts to bring peace to the region,” Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Leyla Abdullayeva said while commenting on an interview with Artak Beglaryan, who introduces himself as the so-called “minister” of an illegal organization on the territory of Azerbaijan, to the RIA Novosti agency.