Flags, slogans and fruits: what is causing conflict between Armenians and Azerbaijanis abroad?
After the military clashes on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan that suddenly broke out last week, a series of incidents occurred between Armenians and Azerbaijanis living in different countries.
“Apricot War” in Moscow
This is what Russia is calling the conflict between Armenians and Azerbaijanis, which arose at the Moscow Food City market at the end of last week. This market belongs to businessmen from Azerbaijan, God Nisanov and Zarakh Iliev.
On Friday, the market owners forbade Armenian truckers from entering the complex. The Food City administration justified these actions by claiming they were “ensuring security.”
More than 50 trucks with perishable goods — mainly apricots and cherries — had to be sent to the dump. Some of the products were saved, as they were accepted by other shopping centers in Moscow, for example, the Bukhta market, which belongs to an ethnic Armenian businessman Samvel Karapetyan.
As the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta writes, no trace of the “apricot war” is visible in the market to the naked eye. The only evidence of the consequences of the interethnic conflict is the complete absence of signs in Armenian stores, and no advertising through loudspeakers. Sellers of goods imported from Armenia complain about the sharply falling sales.
However, others argue that the attitude of the market administration is quite respectful, and that there was no conflict with Azerbaijani colleagues from the neighboring pavilions. “We work and cooperate with all nationalities, it doesn’t matter.” Azerbaijani sellers say the same.
The day after the incident with the Armenian trucks, the head of the Department of Commerce and Services in Moscow, Aleksey Nemeryuk, said that there were no longer any problems with the sale of Armenian goods in Food City. Armenian Ambassador to Russia Vardan Toganyan also reported that the conflict had been settled.
However, Toganyan said the situation has not been fully resolved: “Our task is for Russian legislation to prevail in this shopping center. Yes, so far everything is calm, but we do not know if our entrepreneurs will send goods there again, whether uninterrupted work will be ensured or not.”
London, Los Angeles, Chișinău
On Friday, immigrants from Armenia and Azerbaijan fought in London. The clash took place at the Azerbaijani embassy in the UK. Azerbaijani media reported that Armenians attacked the protesters. Armenian media claim that the fight was provoked by the Azerbaijanis.
On July 21, a clash broke out between Armenians and Azerbaijanis in Los Angeles, USA. The consulate of Azerbaijan reported that a police officer and seven Azerbaijanis were injured. As an employee of the Azerbaijani Consulate General in Los Angeles told the Caucasian Knot, the fight broke out soon after the Armenian and Azerbaijani participants of the rally started shouting chants and slogans about Nagorno-Karabakh.
On July 22, the Chișinău police managed to stop the conflict at a rally near the Armenian Embassy in Moldova. But later, the Ambassador of Azerbaijan to Moldova Gudsi Osmanov made a statement and accused the Moldovan politicians of holding a pro-Armenian position. He says the MP from the ruling Socialist Party Hayk Vartanyan and the adviser to the President of Moldova Ernest Vardanyan demonstrated that they were obviously trying to protect the interests of Armenia.