South Caucasus Geopolitical Watch – from June 18 to June 24, 2022

06/17-24/2022: Armenian responses to Ilham Aliyev’s statements at the 9th Baku World Forum.

Following Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s speech on June 16, Armenia’s Foreign Minister said on June 17: “The Armenian government has repeatedly demonstrated its willingness to make efforts to establish long-term stability and peace. term in the South Caucasus. At the same time, it is clear that these efforts cannot be one-sided. […] In this context, the statements of Baku officials on the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict […] call into question the sincerity of the intention of the Azerbaijani authorities to achieve peace. Regardless of the statements made, the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh continues to exist until adequate guarantees are guaranteed for the issues of security of the Armenians of Artsakh and protection of all their rights, and therefore, the status derived from Nagorno-Karabakh is not addressed. […] The assertion that there is no Nagorno-Karabakh at all due to the use of force demonstrates the constructive spirit of Azerbaijan. Needless to say, this does not correspond to the factual reality, the most important element of which is the existence of Armenians in Artsakh as well as the presence of the Russian peacekeeping contingent to ensure their security. […] The same applies to the declarations of the Azerbaijani authorities on the non-existence of the co-chairmanship of the Minsk Group of the OSCE. First of all, nobody can suspend the international mandate of the co-presidency. […] We have always affirmed our interest in opening up all the transport and economic infrastructures of the region. […] the process would have been much smoother and faster if Azerbaijan had not submitted declarations on the extraterritorial corridor, which do not correspond to the trilateral declaration of November 9, 2020. […] With regard to the Azerbaijan’s efforts to draw parallels between the Lachin Corridor and the unblocking of regional transport infrastructure, they obviously cannot have the same status, at least given the provisions of the trilateral declaration signed on November 9, 2020, which clearly defines the status of the Lachin corridor. Moreover, Nagorno-Karabakh and the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic have different statuses, different neighbourhoods and different security environments. Therefore, their relations via-à-vis Armenia and Azerbaijan cannot be identical”. On June 24, he said in an interview: “The Armenian side has repeatedly stated at high and high levels that we are consistent in our peace program, that we do not consider anything unacceptable in the proposals for Azerbaijan for a future peace treaty, of course, supplementing these proposals with our ideas. […] We conveyed to Azerbaijan, through the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group, our proposal for a comprehensive peace program, but so far we have not heard any official response. […] At the same time, we offered Azerbaijan to start consultations between foreign ministers on the peace agreement, but so far we have not received a response. […] Yes, the trilateral declaration of November 9 has not yet been fully implemented. Azerbaijan, violating not only its obligations under the Tripartite Declaration, but also international humanitarian law, continues to illegally detain Armenian prisoners of war, civilians, using them as hostages, and trading and trafficking in human beings. Not only Armenia, but the entire civilized world makes this request to Azerbaijan. […] Moreover, Azerbaijan, in fact, denies one of the basic protocols of the trilateral declaration, declaring that there is no Nagorno-Karabakh, there is no problem of the Nagorno -Karabakh. Meanwhile, the Azerbaijani President confirmed the existence of the Nagorno-Karabakh entity with his own signature in a trilateral statement. And as long as there is a tripartite statement, the existence of this subject cannot be denied. […] The process would have ended much more quickly if it had not been for the continual baseless statements of the Azerbaijani authorities on the outer corridor, which have nothing to do with the agreements reached in the presence of a certain number of international partners“.

The Azerbaijani side denounced violations of the ceasefire on the part of Armenia on the 17th in the Kelbajar region, on the 21st in the Kelbajar, Lachin, Garakilsa and Basarkechar regions and on June 24 in the region of Lachin and Garakilsa, which has been systematically denied by the Armenian authorities.

A new demonstration took place on June 21 in France Square in Yerevan following the death of two people and one person in critical condition in the village of Nigavan in Aragatsotn province following a shooting that police described as an altercation between motorists and who denied any political implication of this tragedy. Nikol Pashinyan’s political opposition denounced “the participation of ruling party members” and urged protesters to march to the police department, the National Security Service building and the “Civil Contract” party office. On June 24, protesters attempted to block the entrance to the Foreign Ministry.

06/17/2022: New criticism of the Armenian Prime Minister in the CSTO Security Council.

During the Committee of Secretaries of the Security Council of the CSTO held on June 17 in Yerevan, the Armenian Prime Minister again expressed his criticisms of the functioning of the CSTO in these terms: ” Why am I talking about this? You know that the Azerbaijani armed forces invaded our territory in May last year, and we applied to the CSTO. I have spoken about this many times and, as president, I want to emphasize that this issue must be debated properly. Why? Because we see that Azerbaijan’s aggressive statements continue, we should discuss this issue, especially since Armenia has filed an application with the CSTO, because this is a very fundamental issue for us and for the organization. I would also like to mention the following: after the invasion of our territory by Azerbaijani troops, some said that there is no demarcated border between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Frankly, this is a very dangerous wording, because we are referring specifically to the area of ​​responsibility of the Collective Security Treaty Organization. If we say that the borders along which the processes of demarcation and delimitation have been carried out must be taken into account, this may confuse the notion of the zone of responsibility of the CSTO, because the question arises: where does the area of ​​responsibility of the CSTO, where does it stop? Our position is that there is a concrete border between Armenia and Azerbaijan, because in 1991, when the Commonwealth of Independent States was established, an interstate agreement was signed, which clearly stipulates that the countries mutually recognize their existing borders. It refers to the administrative boundaries of the Soviet period, and I think we should have that as a starting point. »

6/18/2022: The United States says it is ready to work with Russia as part of the Minsk Group.

Karen Donfried, the US Under Secretary of State, assured that the US was ready to work with Russia as part of the Minsk Group on June 18 during her visit to Armenia, saying: “The United States has continued to say that we support the Minsk Group co-chair process […] We continue to believe that this is a very important format, especially on Nagorno-Karabakh, and it is essential that we were keeping different formats in play to try to advance peace. And we will continue to do so in the future” which she reaffirmed on June 23, saying: “The United States is open to discussions with the other co-chairs of the Minsk Group, Russia and France, on the best way for the international community to help Armenia and Azerbaijan find peace […] The United States stands ready to engage with Armenia and Azerbaijan in any format, including through the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs, in which progress toward a resolution can be forged. “.

The response of Maria Zakharova, spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry, was made on June 22 in these terms: “Allow me to have doubts about the sincerity of Karen Donfried’s statement. If Washington and Paris had considered important the unique mediation format of the Minsk Group co-chairs, they would not have allowed themselves to neglect the mandate approved by all the participating states. They demonstratively broke off contact with the Russian co-chairman of the Minsk Group on February 24 without any consultation. […] Now they say these things. We still have not received a clear explanation of the reasons for this outrageous measure. Likewise, there is no guarantee that such irresponsible acts will not occur in the future. Pretending nothing happened just won’t work, new realities will have to be taken into account. I think they, as always, bet that we would sink into isolation. But, again, they miscalculated, they failed again, and with this concept they isolated themselves from us, and the outside world is not limited only to the Euro-Atlantic space. The Russian side is interested like no one else in the normalization of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and cannot allow politicized measures by individual external actors to undermine the already difficult efforts to restore peace and stability in the region. We will continue to do everything in our power for the unconditional implementation of the commitments and objectives set out in the statements of the leaders of the Russian Federation, the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Armenia on November 9 2020, January 11, 2021 and November 26. 2021″. She also confirmed the holding of a second meeting of the border delimitation commissions on June 24 in Moscow and welcomed “the intensification of the activities of the trilateral working group co-chaired by the ministers on unblocking economic and transport ties in the South Caucasus“, informing that he had held their 10th ordinary meeting on June 3 in Moscow and that discussions had continued on June 16 and 17 on the sidelines of the Economic Forum Saint Petersburg International. Regarding the blocking of access by the Azerbaijani authorities to the site of the Russian news agency RIA Novosti” and Baku’s refusal to extend residence permits to employees of the Russian news agency Sputnik, she only to reply that the problems of the media and their activities should be “resolved on the basis of the following fundamental points: respect for the law, respect for freedom of expression and the rights of journalists enshrined in both national law and internationally“.

On June 24, it was Sergei Lavrov visiting Baku who added: “The issue of the Minsk group was not discussed with the Azerbaijani Minister of Foreign Affairs because it ceased its activities on the initiative of the United States and France […] The events on the ground of September-October 2020 left behind all the documents that had been discussed for many years without visible results. […] It’s just an objective reality”.

06/20-21/2022: Nikol Pashinian in Belarus for the Eurasian Intergovernmental Council.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian visited Belarus on June 20 and 21 where he met Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishutin, who said bilateral trade turnover between the two countries had increased by 30 % between January and April reaching 890 million dollars, and which highlighted the presence of many Russian companies in Armenia, particularly in the oil and gas, transport and digital technology sectors. He said: “The pressure of the collective West on the individual states of the ‘five’ is intensifying. This concerns all union members. Our economies are intertwined, so we can only respond effectively to hostile measures together. The main task is to minimize the impact of sanctions on citizens, to strengthen macroeconomic stability”.

Nikol Pashinyan delivered a speech the next day at the extended meeting stating: “The Eurasian Economic Union is gradually passing the stage of its completion, and moving to the stage of revealing its potential for integration for the benefit of creation a common economic space, a sustainable economic growth of our countries, a reinforcement of competitiveness, an effective promotion of its economic interests on the international scene. Given the new realities, the need to strengthen the close coordination of our actions increases as a basis for Member States to adapt to modern conditions in the global economy.”

On June 24, a trilateral meeting of prosecutors general of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia was held in Minsk, “at the initiative of Russia“, on the sidelines of the 32nd meeting of the Coordinating Council of Prosecutors General of CIS member states. Azerbaijan’s Prosecutor General, Kamran Aliyev, took the opportunity to insist on “joint efforts to find missing persons following the first and second Karabakh wars“, the “issuance of mine cards for the protection of life and health of persons“, and “the inadmissibility of illegal visits to Karabakh“. On the same day, a regular meeting of the Council of Defence Ministers of the CIS was held in Russia, which was attended by First Deputy Defence Minister Karim Valiyev and Armenian Defence Minister Suren Papikian.

06/20/2022: Discussions on the resumption of the Geneva International Discussions.

During discussions between the co-chairs of the Geneva International Discussions and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko about the “prospects for resuming the Geneva discussions“, the latter said: “The work of this format remains “frozen” following the unilateral decisions taken by the Co-Chairs – without consultation with the participating States – to postpone the 56th cycle initially scheduled for the end of March 2022. The Russian side underlined the destructive nature of the steps taken by the United States, the European Union European Union, the OSCE and Switzerland, which seriously hinder the normal functioning of the Geneva format. Under the current conditions, a real question arises as to the need to move the meeting from Geneva to a more neutral location acceptable to all participants. Given the emergence of a new geopolitical situation and the attempts of Western countries to import the logic of confrontation into the South Caucasus, the conclusion of a legally binding agreement on the non-use of force by Tbilisi with Tskhinval and Sukhum, as well as the initiation of the process of delimitation of the state borders between Georgia and Abkhazia and between Georgia and South Ossetia, with their subsequent demarcation, must remain a top priority”.

06/20/2022: Joint meeting of the “Abkhazian-Russian working group to simplify the procedures for passing through the Adler checkpoint.

“Deputy Foreign Minister” Irakli Tuzhba and “Head of the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs” Lasha Avidzba and “Minister Counselor of the Embassy of the Republic of Abkhazia” in Russia Alkhas Barzania. attended a joint meeting by videoconference on June 20 with representatives of relevant departments of the Russian Federation to discuss technical issues and the development of comprehensive measures aimed at simplifying the crossing of the Abkhazian-Russian border at the point control of Adler. They thus discussed the opening of an additional line at the tourist bus checkpoint as well as the possibility of using maritime and rail traffic, the resumption of air traffic, as well as the question of the lifting of restrictions imposed on nationals. from third countries previously introduced by the Russian Federation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

06/20/2022: Appointment of the “Prime Minister” of South Ossetia.

Alan Gagloev, the new “President of the Republic of South Ossetia” appointed by decree the new Prime Minister in the person of Konstantin Dzhussoev after the approval of his candidacy by the local “Parliament” unanimously of the 33 deputies” present out of 34, on June 17.

He held his first working meeting with a Russian delegation led by the director of the Department of Programs and Special Projects of the Russian Ministry of Economic Development, Vitaly Gudin, on the implementation of the investment program for the promotion of development of the Republic of South Ossetia in 2020-2022, as well as on issues relating to the development of the investment program for 2023-2025 on the harmonization of customs and tax legislation of the “Republic of South Ossetia” with the legislation of the Russian Federation.

21-22/06/2022: Visit of the President of Azerbaijan to Uzbekistan.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliev visited Uzbekistan on 21 and 22 June, hosted by his counterpart Shavkat Mirziyoyev, with whom he attended the inauguration of a renovated street bearing the name of Heydar Aliyev and a memorial in
honour of the president’s father, in the Mirabad district of down town Tashkent populated by a large Azerbaijani diaspora. They also visited the Independence Monument together. The next day, they were together in the city of Urgench in the west of the country. In an expanded-format meeting, the Uzbek president said, “Our countries are bound by a common religion, similar spiritual values, traditions, language and culture, which we discussed in detail today in private. . In Uzbekistan, we are always sincerely happy with the impressive successes of Azerbaijan. Your achievements are now recognized around the world. My brother, the esteemed Ilham Heydarovich, continues the work of his grandfather Heydar Aliyev and restored historical justice by restoring the ancestral lands of the Azerbaijani people. Today, a lot of creative work is done under your direction. Your country is once again becoming a flourishing land. We will be happy to contribute to this noble cause, which we have also spoken about in private.

06/21/2022: Statement by Alan Gagloev regarding the unification of South Ossetia with Russia.

At a press conference in Tskhinvali following consultations held in Moscow, Alan Gagloev, the new South Ossetian “president” said on June 21: “The Russian side has not been informed of the intention to organize a referendum in South Ossetia on the question of unification with the Russian Federation. We have a treaty of alliance and integration with the Russian side, the first article of which provides for the coordination of all stages in the field of foreign policy. And we ended up in a situation where we unite with the Russian Federation, without them being aware of it. […] We agreed to develop specific formulations, because we can join Russia as a separate entity or a separate entity with subsequent reunification with North Ossetia. Therefore, we will discuss the issue in Parliament of the Republic, with the participation of society, after which we will start consultations with the Russian side. […] For us, the most important thing is not the holding of a referendum, but the legal consequences that it will entail. […] the South Ossetian delegation found itself in an awkward position during the consultations due to the actions of the former leaders of the Republic of South Ossetia. We were told: show us at least one letter that you sent… This was not done, neither by the administration of the President of South Ossetia, nor by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic “.

While the “Head of the South Ossetian Presidential Administration”, Alan Dzhioyev, said: “”All our work must start from scratch, but in a legally sound manner and in accordance with Article 1 of the Treaty of alliance and integration. […] In fact, our position was as follows: we are ready to organize a referendum with this formulation, provided that the Russian side finds it acceptable. […] According to the law on fundamental guarantees of citizens’ electoral rights, the wording of the question must be such that it does not allow for various interpretations, a clear answer must be given. […] The Russian side stated that at the moment both the legislative system of the Republic of South Ossetia and other parameters of development, economy, […] have not yet reached the required level. Therefore, we need time to harmonize legislation and raise the level of development in various fields.
Furthermore, the South Ossetian “Presidential Administration” issued the “Declaration following the Russian-South Ossetian consultations” held on June 14, 2022 in Moscow on the issue of the “referendum” stating: “
Based on the results of the consultations, it was established that the referendum announced by […] President Anatoly Bibilov was scheduled without prior study and coordination of this issue with the Russian side. […] the bad legal nature of the wording of the question submitted to the referendum excludes any possibility of execution. […] Taking into account the above-mentioned circumstances, respecting the desire for integration and reunification of the Republic of South Ossetia with Russia, the participants of the consultations came to the unanimous opinion that the initiative group supporting the referendum should formulate a legally valid question (or questions) to be submitted to the referendum, and ensure a wide public debate on the question”.

The South Ossetian Embassy in Russia published a text for the 102nd anniversary of the South Ossetian genocide: “The nationalist political forces that came to power in parts of the former Tbilisi and Kutaisi provinces of the Russian Empire, as part of the so-called Democratic Republic of Georgia, in 1920 committed genocide against the Ossetian population, part of which historically lives on the southern slopes of the Caucasus Mountains. […] Almost all the villages of South Ossetia were burnt down and devastated, masses of the Ossetian population, mainly women, children, the elderly, were massacred. […] More than 5,000 civilians of Ossetian nationality have been victims of this criminal policy. Those South Ossetians who survived were forced to flee to North Ossetia. More than 50,000 people (who at that time represented more than 75% of the population of South Ossetia) travelled to North Ossetia through difficult mountain passes and a significant part of them died from hunger, cold, typhoid and cholera. At the same time, a Georgian governmental commission was created, responsible for expelling the surviving Ossetians and distributing their property among Georgian settlers from different regions of Georgia, mainly from the Dusheti and Kazbegi districts. The official newspaper of the so-called Democratic Republic of Georgia “Ertoba” then wrote: “Our republic is deporting the Ossetians to the places they longed for: to the socialist paradise”. Terror against Ossetians and other “non-Georgians” was the state policy of the Georgian authorities at the time“.

06/22/2022: Repayment of a 1.2 billion rouble loan from Russia to Abkhazia extended until 2034.

Members of the “Parliament of Abkhazia” proceeded on June 22 to the ratification of Protocol No. 3 on amendments to the “Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Abkhazia and the Government of the Russian Federation on the ‘providing a state export loan to the Government of the Republic of Abkhazia dated December 24, 2010’. The loan intended to restore the railway installations of Abkhazia, and representing 1.2 billion roubles, is thus extended until 2034.

06/23/2022: EU decisions on Georgia’s application for candidate status.

While tens of thousands of Georgians gathered on June 20 in the centre of Tbilisi at the call of the “Shame” organization, as well as others in the cities of Batumi, Zugdidi and Kutaisi as well as in 8 European Unions cities, to claim their membership of the EU, EU leaders decided on June 23 to follow the recommendations of the European Commission by granting candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova. Regarding Georgia, the European Council expressed its readiness to “grant candidate country status to Georgia once the priorities set out in the Commission’s opinion on Georgia’s membership application have been taken into account” while acknowledging the European perspective of the three countries of the “Associated Trio”. Another large rally took place on Rustaveli Avenue on the evening of June 24, bringing together thousands of people to demand the resignation of the Prime Minister.

Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili spoke on June 21 on the recommendations made by the European Commission while he was in Qatar for the Doha Economic Forum on June 20 and 21, where he met the Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani Sheikh Tamim, Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior of Qatar, Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani, with whom he signed two agreements on the promotion and mutual protection of investments and on cooperation economic, commercial and technical between the two governments, as well as the President of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the President of the Association of Businessmen of Qatar, Sheikh Faisal bin Qassim Al Than. The CEO of the Qatar Investment Authority, Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, Mansoor Bin Ebrahim Al-Mahmoud, and the CEO of Vitol, the world’s largest independent energy trading company, Russel Hardy.

He said on this occasion: “It is indeed another world. We are witnessing the change of an international order based on new rules. And you mentioned that before Ukraine there was Georgia. […] nobody in the world paid enough attention – let’s be very open and frank – to the fact that a sovereign nation, the independent country of Georgia, was invaded by Russia. […] and there was no reaction, no adequate, appropriate reaction from the international community. No sanctions were imposed on Russia. Nothing! […] Politically, of course, we support Ukraine, at all international platforms, be it UN, EU, OSCE – we have joined more than 260 resolutions and declarations, everything we could do. […] I want to repeat that I, as head of government, have to think about the security of our people. […] We are in full coordination with our international partners, American and European partners. This is our position. For example, Moldova, another member of the Associated Trio, did not impose economic sanctions on Russia for very obvious reasons – they may have even more security concerns. The decision of the European Commission is unfair. But, of course, we understand. We have heard from European leaders that they decided to grant status to Ukraine because Ukraine is at war. And Moldova, as a country very close to Ukraine, is in a very difficult situation: economy, security challenges, etc. Of course, if you compare Georgia’s performance, our reforms and all, and if it had been a merit-based approach, Georgia would have been the first country to achieve candidate status. […] But, of course, the three nations, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine have been granted European prospects, which is a historic decision by the EU, because the European prospects mean that the country will become a member of the European Union. EU. And, of course, candidate status will follow under certain conditions. But I want to make it very clear that conditions were imposed on the three nations, which is quite normal practice for other countries that have been associated, and later candidate countries. As for joining NATO, that is our determination. In 2017, we made several constitutional amendments to enshrine in the Constitution that the path of Georgian foreign policy is Euro-Atlantic.“On June 24, he tried to be positive in these terms: “In our case, they said that we would not receive a gift until we met these conditions. […] it may be better for us that we have not yet received a gift in advance and have not been asked to fulfill the conditions later. Why? There would not be so much motivation to complete the polarization, and that would have to be done not only by us, but also by the opposition. Now the ruling party and the opposition have more motivation to fulfill this condition”.

On June 22, Salome Zurabishvili announced that she had used her veto power against a surveillance bill also stating, “I will veto every bill that is passed in the wrong direction over the next six months. […] Because nowadays no law can be passed in Georgia that would further restrict human rights, while we are asked to give more guarantees in this sense, to be more democratic and more European”. Indeed, the European Commission’s opinion on Georgia’s access to candidate status noted: “Respect for the confidentiality of communications has been challenged by the eavesdropping and illicit surveillance of politicians, journalists, civil society activists and the diplomatic community, including records of private life and correspondence”. Amendments passed on June 7 aimed at expanding the scope of crimes for which investigations can use covert surveillance techniques follow a scandal in 2021 over leaked security service files revealing that the Georgian government had systematically listened to the conversations of the clergy, the media and foreign diplomats.

06/23-24/2022: Visit of the Russian Foreign Minister to Azerbaijan.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was visiting Azerbaijan on June 23-24 to meet Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev who said: “The signing of the declaration on Allied interaction in Moscow at the beginning of this year gave a good start to our relations in 2022, a new stage in our relations, positive harmony and dynamics. […] I would like once again to express my satisfaction with the development of our political relations, constant dialogue at the highest level, trade and economic relations which have shown good momentum this year, cooperation in the fields of transport, energy and, of course, the humanitarian sphere. […] our proposal to start working on a peace agreement remains unanswered, but we still hope that this proposal will be accepted. Among the positive aspects, I would like to note the intensification of the work of the trilateral working group chaired by the Deputy Prime Ministers of Russia, Azerbaijan and Armenia. Another meeting was held recently in St. Petersburg. We hope that […] practical measures will be taken within the framework of the opening of communication links, ensuring the unimpeded transit of Azerbaijani goods and citizens to the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic. This is a legal obligation of the Armenian side. Unfortunately, despite the fact that more than a year and a half have passed since the end of the Second Karabakh War, this paragraph of the Declaration has not yet been implemented”.

Sergei Lavrov answered these questions in these words: “The trilateral working group on unblocking communications, in our opinion, is making progress. We also discuss issues that need to be agreed with the Armenian side. We have a common understanding of how to solve the problem of organizing car traffic in the most comfortable way, so as not to create artificial obstacles. Russia will support this work until a result is achieved. I hope this will happen soon. In accordance with other agreements, we are ready to provide advisory services within the framework of the work of the two commissions established in Azerbaijan and Armenia for the delimitation and demarcation of borders. There are specific proposals in this regard. I would be happy to discuss it with you. […] In a week, the Caspian Five summit will take place in Ashgabat. We are actively preparing for it. We discussed with my colleague and friend Djeyhun Bayramov the documents that could be submitted to the leaders for approval”.

The Russian MFA signed with its counterpart, Djeyhun Bayramov, a cooperation agreement in the field of international information security. According to the document, information security threats include: “actions aimed at violating the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of States; computer attacks on important objects of the IT infrastructure; the propaganda of terrorism and the objectives of terrorism; interference in the internal affairs of the State and violation of public order; incitement to inter-ethnic, interracial and inter-religious hatred, racist and xenophobic propaganda which breeds separatism and extremism, hatred and discrimination, incitement to violence and instability; the dissemination of deliberately false information under the guise of reliable reports on situations threatening the life and safety of citizens or leading to serious consequences, and other cases”. The parties pledged to “maintain security and stability in the information space, mutual respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, security and inviolability of state borders, the settlement peaceful disputes and conflicts, non-use of force and threats, non-interference in internal affairs, respect for human rights and freedoms, act in accordance with generally recognized principles and norms of international law, including respect for fundamental freedoms, as well as the principles of bilateral cooperation and non-interference in States’ information resources“.

It should be noted that the official Russian news agency RIA recently published an interview with a representative of the “Government of Karabakh” and in response access to RIA Novosti was blocked in Azerbaijan. However, according to Sergey Lavrov: “this agreement on international information security is not about media activities, but about problems created in cyberspace as a result of attempts to use cyberspace for military purposes“.

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