Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov “doesn’t remember” the scandals with the inadmissibility of Russian citizens with Armenian surnames in Baku, the Minister said in an interview with Izvestia.
The publication recalled that in the summer of 2018, a diplomatic scandal occurred between Russia and Azerbaijan.
Olga Barseghyan, 81, an ethnic Armenian woman who survived the blockade of Leningrad, flew to Baku, but she was deported from the country. The Azerbaijani authorities motivated this by the fact that she, as an Armenian, would not be safe in Azerbaijan.
The incident provoked outrage in the Russian MFA. Asked to comment whether it was now possible, after a year and a half, to resolve this conflict, or can we say that the practice of not allowing Russian citizens of Armenian origin to enter the country has become the norm, the minister said: "I don’t know about this conflict, because somehow I don’t remember. Sometimes this is done on the basis of PR points of view - people of Armenian origin are aware of the sensitivity of this issue. We say: if there are any citizens of Russia with Armenian surnames who want to come to Azerbaijan, for God's sake! But even if they inform at least our embassy in advance, because we have visa-free entry with Russia, but the information received in advance will allow us to prevent any excesses, given the emotional background in Azerbaijan regarding the existing conflict. We always speak quite frankly on this subject with the Russian side."