The First Channel (Russia) expressed its confusion with the decision by the National TV and Radio Council of Azerbaijan to terminate the transmission of the Russian TV channels from 1 July 2007.
The Director General of the First Channel, Constantine Ernst, commented on the decision of the Council: To seriously follow the legal standards of the countries in which the First Channel is transmitted is our principal position. The First Channel has been transmitted in the territory of Azerbaijan for already many years and totally fulfills the requirements of the active legislation and appropriate interstate agreements, as well as International Convention on the Protection of Author Rights. At present we have no official disputes against us and our Azerbaijani partner, all necessary documentations are legalized within the required period. The broadcasting contract is to expire at the end of 2010.
We are confident that the situation will be resolved with mutual satisfaction of all those involved and that millions of First Channel viewers in Azerbaijan will be able, in the future, to enjoy their favorite programs. We hope that dear Mr. President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, will not allow this illogical decision to proceed. The friendship between the Russian and Azeri people which is supported by the broadcasting policy of the First Channel over the past years should not be jeopardized as a result of a rash decision, he said.