Russian Foreign Ministry intervenes in diplomatic scandal between Azerbaijan and France
Russian FM responded to Franco-Azerbaijani diplomatic scandal
The official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, recalled that the Lachin corridor in Karabakh is under the control of Russian peacekeepers. Thus, she responded to the statement of Ilham Aliyev, which led to a diplomatic scandal between Azerbaijan and France. The ex-Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan called the words of Zakharova a violation of the sovereign rights of his country.
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In an interview with local TV channels, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev commented on the visit of the French presidential candidate from the Republican Party, Valerie Pecresse, to the part of Karabakh, where the Russian peacekeeping contingent is temporarily stationed, in December 2021.
Aliyev noted that if Azerbaijan had known about the presence of a French woman in Khankendi (Armenians call this city Stepanakert – JAMnews), then she would not have been allowed to leave the country. He also added that the Lachin corridor is controlled by the Azerbaijani army.
After that, Valerie Pekress appealed to the law enforcement agencies of France, declaring that she received “death threats” from Azerbaijani authorities.
The Ministries of Foreign Affairs of France and Azerbaijan also exchanged unfriendly statements.
Zakharova: Lachin corridor is under the control of Russian peacekeepers
During the traditional briefing on January 20, 2022, the official representative of the Russian Foreign Ministry Maria Zakharova, answering a question from a journalist, expressed her country’s position on the French politician’s visit to Karabakh and indirectly responded to Aliyev’s statement.
“First of all, Azerbaijani-French relations should be commented on by the representatives of Baku and Paris. There can be no doubt about this.
Secondly, I will talk again about the basic approaches to the situation, and when it comes to visits to these territories, we proceed from this basic approach. I would like to once again draw your attention to the fact that the Russian peacekeeping contingent is deployed along the line of contact and the Lachin corridor based on the statements of the leaders of Azerbaijan, Armenia and Russia on a complete ceasefire in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone dated November 9, 2020.
In accordance with paragraph 6 of this statement, the Lachin corridor is under the control of Russian peacekeepers, Azerbaijan guarantees the safety of movement of citizens, vehicles and cargo along the Lachin corridor in both directions.
The command of the Russian peacekeeping contingent has established a visitation procedure for the area of carrying out peacekeeping operation—including for foreign citizens, employees of international mission organizations. This procedure is well known to the Armenian and Azerbaijani sides. In particular, the Russian peacekeepers will be notified in advance and properly of such tripsAgain, this is our basic approach”, Zakharova said.
Commentary by ex-Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan
Former Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Tofik Zulfugarov responded to Zakharova’s statement.
“M. Zakharova should know that, according to the practice adopted by the United Nations, peacekeeping operations do not imply restrictions on the sovereignty of the host country, unlike a peace enforcement operation (it can be carried out only on the basis of a special resolution of the UN Security Council).
This means that the implementation of the laws of our country regulating the regime of the state border and the protection of the economic space cannot be transferred to peacekeeping forces. Their task is limited only to the function of law enforcement and security in the area of temporary responsibility – nothing else!
So the trip of Madame Perkes, organized by her handlers from the SVR, is illegal and contrary to the spirit and letter of the Statement of November 10, 2020.
If someone wants to influence the presidential elections in France, then let them do its but not at the expense of violating our sovereign rights!”, he wrote on his Facebook page.