Russian passports. © Photo by Yelena Sineok, Yuga.ru

17 October 2019, 18:59

Azerbaijan voices entry conditions for Russian citizens with Armenian surnames

Russian citizens of Armenian descent or with Armenian surnames may not be afraid of refusal to visit Azerbaijan if they warn the Embassy of their visit, announces the head of the Azerbaijani Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).

In March, amid preparations for negotiations between the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reminded citizens of restrictions on ethnic Armenians on entry to Azerbaijan.

In the first half of 2017, 25 Russian citizens were denied entry to Azerbaijan because of their Armenian surnames or Armenian descent, the Russian MFA reported. The Azerbaijani MFA emphasized that "security measures" were introduced to avoid provocations when Russian citizens of Armenian descent entered the country.

The restrictions on entry to Azerbaijan for ethnic Armenians are related to security considerations, both for the country and for themselves, political analyst Rasim Musabekov explains.

"A lot of Armenians live in Russia, including natives of Nagorno-Karabakh ... On the other hand, Azerbaijan is still a shelter for a million refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) who have lost their relatives and friends and property. It is clear that victims of the conflict have got  choosing the words carefully an unfriendly attitude towards the Armenians," said Rasim Musabekov.

In the Azerbaijani society, the Karabakh conflict is "sharply ethnicized:" the propaganda gives the image of the enemy not in the form of Armenia or Nagorno-Karabakh, but of an "Armenian as a member of an ethnic group," explains political analyst Alexander Iskandaryan.

This article was originally published on the Russian page of 24/7 Internet agency ‘Caucasian Knot’ on October 17, 2019 at 01:41 pm MSK. To access the full text of the article, click here.

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