Expert: "Echo of Moscow" chief editor should have been aware of restrictions on visits to Azerbaijan's occupied territories

Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict Materials 24 May 2011 19:14 (UTC +04:00)

Azerbaijan, Baku, May 24 / Trend V.Zhavoronkova /

"Echo of Moscow" Chief Editor Alexei Venediktov should have been aware of the restrictions, that may be imposed by Azerbaijan, before sending a journalist to Nagorno-Karabakh, Russian political analyst, Deputy Director General of Information-Analytical Department at the Moscow State University and Trend Expert Council member, Alexander Karavayev, said.
"Before sending a journalist [to Nagorno-Karabakh], the editor should have been informed of the possible limitations that may be imposed on the visit by Azerbaijan, and his decision should have been adequate," Karavayev told Trend over the telephone from Moscow.

Deputy Chief Editor of the Russian radio station "Echo of Moscow" Sergei Buntman visited occupied Nagorno-Karabakh without Azerbaijan's knowledge. Buntman has interviewed the separatist leaders. The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry included the journalists in the list of persona-non-grata. Azerbaijan declares foreigners, who visit Nagorno-Karabakh without notice of Baku, the persona-non-grata

"Journalists have the right to receive any information - it is universally recognized right and it was approved in international instruments. But the state, in turn, has the right to restrict them on a number of circumstances, particularly, in case of Azerbaijan, visits to areas that are under occupation," Karavayev said.
The state, in this case Azerbaijan, has the right to react to this fact as it reacts, Karavayev believes.

"If journalists are aware of possible restrictions [by Azerbaijan on entry to Nagorno-Karabakh] and make such decisions, they also must bear the consequences of this decision," he said.

The Azerbaijani government, Karavayev said, acts completely according to the logic of how is required to act with respect to "the territories, which were captured by the separatists."

The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Armenian armed forces have occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan since 1992, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and 7 surrounding districts.
Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement in 1994. The co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group - Russia, France, and the U.S. - are currently holding the peace negotiations.
Armenia has not yet implemented the U.N. Security Council's four resolutions on the liberation of the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding regions.