Azeri Complaints Baseless Says Russia

MOSCOW (Noyan Tapan)–A protest by Azerbaijan about the participation of Russian officials–including Duma members–in the Karabakh liberation movement 10th anniversary celebrations in Stepanakert–was deemed baseless by the Russian foreign ministry–Iterfax reported Wednesday–quoting a foreign ministry spokesperson.

"The concerns by Azerbaijan’s foreign ministry that the participation of political officials–including Russian Duma members–in the 10th anniversary celebration of the Karabakh decision to secede from Azerbaijan–would hinder Russia’s image are completely baseless," announced Russian foreign ministry representative Gennady Tarasov during a press briefing Tuesday.

Tarasov added that the visit by Russian officials was "personal."

The Azeri protest suggested that the presence of Russian officials at the celebrations "undermined Russia’s image," and "contradicted the protocol of relation between Azerbaijan and Russia."

Tarasov stated that based on information gathered from the Duma–the Russian officials–including deputies of the lower house of parliament–were in Karabakh on their own personal initiative and "did not represent anyone but themselves."

The Russian representative stressed that the Russian position on the Karabakh conflict remained unchanged and that Russia was interested in resolving the conflict peacefully.

"We–together with the other co-chairmen of the OSCE Minsk Group–are actively involved in the Karabakh peace process and we are determined to continue to actively work with sides to the conflict for a political resolution based on proposals presented by the co-chairmanship of the Minsk Group," Tarasov declared.

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