BAKU, Azerbaijan, November 28. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan has summoned the Chargés d'Affaires of the US and Germany, as well as the Ambassador of France, Trend reports via the ministry.
It was noted at the meetings that local "AbzasMedia" news portal has been doing illegal financial operations with the participation of organizations registered in these countries, and involvement of the above countries' embassies in these activities.
"It was noted that the US Agency for International Development (USAID), FreedomNow, the New Democracy Fund, and other organizations, in violation of grant rules, illegally transferred financial resources to the territory of Azerbaijan, making an illegal contribution to the activities of AbzasMedia," the ministry pointed out.
"It was emphasized that according to the legislation of the Republic of Azerbaijan on grant activities and grant agreements, grant contracts must be registered with the state according to a specific procedure. Allocating funding to projects that have not undergone registration is a serious violation of the country's legislation," the ministry said further.
However, according to the ministry, it was also highlighted that, according to international practice and in accordance with the law of the Republic of Azerbaijan on the media, funding of local media entities by individuals or legal entities from foreign countries, as well as by state structures of foreign countries, is not allowed.
"It was noted that the actions of embassies and their affiliated organizations on the territory of our country, contrary to the mentioned legislation, also constitute a violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations," the ministry said.
"The Azerbaijani side strongly condemned this activity, which contradicts the legislation of our country and is aimed at interfering in the internal affairs of the country, and it was made clear that in connection with these facts, Azerbaijan reserves the right to take appropriate measures in accordance with national legislation," added the ministry.
Earlier, on November 21, a criminal case was initiated against the Director and the Chief Editor of the "AbzasMedia" website - Ulvi Hasanli and Sevinj Abbasova under Article 206.3.2 (smuggling) of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
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