Baku raps scrapping of All-Russia Azerbaijani Congress

Political News 17-05-2017 12:23
Baku raps scrapping of All-Russia Azerbaijani Congress
The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry has criticised Russia for calling off the All-Russia Azerbaijani Congress. Azeri Foreign Ministry spokesman Hikmat Haciyev said that the decision will not help Russian-Azerbaijani relations, Azartac state news agency on 16 May.

"It causes serious regret and perplexity that the All-Russia Azerbaijani Congress has been annulled at the request of the Russian Justice Ministry while the Russian president is pursuing a policy of developing relations between ethnic communities and their greater involvement in Russia's social and political life," Haciyev told Azartac.

"We consider this step as a manifestation of discrimination and bias towards people, who are Russian citizens, over their ethnicity," Haciyev said, adding that Baku considers this an "unfriendly step".

"We believe that such an approach will not serve the balance of ethnic relations in Russia, the concept of reforms implemented in the country and the strengthening of dialogue between cultures, and that it will also not cause a positive response in Azerbaijani-Russia relations," Haciyev said.

He added that the congress was set up on the basis of Russian laws and that other ethnic NGOs still operate in Russia.

Haciyev hinted that the Armenian diaspora in Russian might be behind the court ruling.

"Certainly, if we come to the conclusion that Armenian diaspora circles have such influence on Russia's domestic and foreign policies, then the danger posed to the prospect of Russian-Azerbaijan inter-state relations is a cause for regret," he said.

"The Russian Federation, a main mediator in the process of the peaceful resolution of the Armernian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict for many years, has undertaken important commitments. Faithful implementation of these commitments requires maintaining a balance in relations between the countries and maintaining the principle of fairness," Haciyev noted.

The suspension of the All-Russia Azerbaijani Congress, while Russia gives its full support to the Union of Armenians of Russia, could be viewed as an example of imbalance in relations towards ethnic-Armenian and ethnic-Azerbaijani residents of Russia, which can negatively influence Russia's role as a mediator in the resolution of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict," Haciyev opined.

The All-Russia Azerbaijani Congress was set up in 2001; Russian President Vladimir Putin of Russia and Azeribaijan President Ilham Aliyev attended its forum in 2004.