On March 19, 2017, a group of Russian bloggers and journalists blatantly violated the state border of the Republic of Azerbaijan illegally visiting the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. It is quite obvious that this provocation, initiated by Armenia, was aimed at demonstrating a clear disregard for the norms of international law that recognize the Karabakh region as an integral part of Azerbaijan. The formal reason for the violation of the Azerbaijani state border was the extradition of the Russian-Israeli blogger Alexander Lapshin, who was detained by Interpol on the territory of Belarus for illegally visiting Nagorno-Karabakh, to Baku. In solidarity with him, a group of the “dregs of Russian society”, consisting of Anton Nosik, Anton Merkurov and Svetlana Bolshakova, on the initiative of the Armenian side, organized a mission to the occupied lands of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
What can be said about this? In my opinion, this is not fearlessness, not a demonstration of solidarity with Lapshin, but elementary stupidity and posturing. They can not help Lapshin in such an absurd way, instead, they can be next to him in the next cell. The inevitability of punishment of the perpetrators is a reality, thanks to the judicial precedent of the Lapshin case. This allows Azerbaijan to initiate criminal cases on public appeals against the authority of the State and illegal crossing of the border, relying on existing experience, almost “automatically”. I remember that more eminent people who illegally visited Karabakh asked then for forgiveness from Baku. What can we say about the petty mediocre blogger Nosik and his insignificant team, members of which fancied themselves so bold that they decided to challenge all Azerbaijan?
But the peculiarity of this case is that the Republic of Azerbaijan does not allow anyone to talk to it in the language of provocations, especially to such odious personalities as Anton Nosik or Alexander Lapshin. Apparently, violators of the state border of Azerbaijan do not assume that their crimes only aggravate their situation. There’s no point in hoping that their “Karabakh visits” might go unnoticed by the law enforcement bodies and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan. On the contrary, the reaction of the Azerbaijani side is immediate, which has been confirmed several times. The Press Secretary of the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Azerbaijan, along with other high-level officials, have repeatedly noted that foreigners should apply to the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry to visit the occupied territories of Azerbaijan in order to carry out professional activities. This rule is based not so much on internal norms of Azerbaijani legislation, as on the norms of international law, according to which Nagorno-Karabakh is an integral part of Azerbaijan. To ignore this is to be a total scumbag with delusions of being greater than the entire international community.
Perhaps Anton Nosik and his team were promised something for their participation in the anti-Azerbaijani provocation. However, in any case, no material wealth is worth risking your own freedom and honor. I’m not talking about the fact that such voyages negatively affect the Azerbaijani-Russian relations. Although, for someone like Nosik, the national interests of the state are just an empty phrase.
Author: Denis Korkodinov