Russian FM Sergey Lavrov' s words may become decisive in the case regarding the blogger Alexander Lapshin, who visited Karabakh, Italian journalist Simone Zoppellaro writes in an article published in Il Giornale.
The article reads as follows:
''I could be in his position, and not only me. Over 180 foreign journalists are declared personae non grata in Azerbaijan. There are many Italians among them too.
The state propaganda machine of Azerbaijan, consisting of corrupt journalists, trolls, state hackers and zealous officials, is ready to not only attack the local press (according to the freedom of press ratings, Azerbaijan ranks one of the last among the world's counties) but also the foreign journalists, who dare to poke their nose into the business of this regime.
Alexander Lapshin, a blogger with dual citizenship—Israeli and Russian—is under arrest in Minsk for visiting Nagorno-Karabakh and for his critical expressions in his post on Azerbaijani President Aliyev. No other charges—even fabricated ones, as is the practice in these countries—were brought against him.
Neither the Israeli nor the Russian diplomacy tries to set him free. The wonderful relations between Baku and Tel-Aviv didn't help either. ''Azerbaijanis wants Lapshin to serve as an example,'' an Israeli diplomat told in an interview with Haaretz, on the condition of anonymity.
The head of the Russian diplomacy, Sergey Lavrov, also stated his opinion on this: “We are against criminalizing journalists’ or private individuals’ visiting a certain territory in a certain region.” This was an apparent indication of Karabakh. Lavrov's words may become decisive, considering Moscow's influence on Minsk.
Alexander Lapshin, 40, is well known in the Russian-speaking world. He has stories and photos of over 120 countries on his blog. He didn't engage in politics and didn't write about the financial scandals of the Azerbaijani president or violations of human rights in that country like many of those who have appeared in the prisons of Baku. Nevertheless, he hangs in the air for already over a month.''