In response to numerous media questions about a ban on the entry to Azerbaijan for Russian citizens, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said Thursday that its citizens going to that country are subject to ethnic discrimination.
Since the start of this year, 25 Russian citizens have been denied entry into Azerbaijan, the Russian Foreign Ministry said, adding that they were, on average, detained for many hours at the Baku airport (in a number of cases, without food, water or medical assistance, and in one case the detained person was a woman with a four-year-old child) and then forced to leave at their own expense.
“The ‘grounds’ for these outrages were Armenian surnames, first names or the patronymics of our citizens. But there were also cases where persons with Russian last names, names and patronymics were questioned to identify their ‘Armenian ancestry,'” according to the Foreign Ministry.
The Russian Embassy in Baku and the Russian Foreign Ministry have issued several notes, demanding that an end be put to this outrageous practice, followed by an investigation and due inquiry into the behavior of the officials at Heydar Aliyev International Airport.
“We have proceed from the assumption that, as Azerbaijan presents itself, the country is a model of ethnic and religious tolerance and multiculturalism, that recently declared its intention to establish an Azerbaijani-Armenian public dialogue,” the Foreign Ministry said, adding, “But our expectations have failed to materialise. There was no investigation of these incidents. A reply from Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry says “Azerbaijan must apply the relevant regulations to a number of persons to prevent undesirable excesses.” We regard this reply as vague and unsatisfactory. Unfortunately, it shows that Russian citizens arriving in Azerbaijan still run the risk of falling victim to arbitrary treatment.”