Azerbaijan blocks Russian news agency over ‘separatist tendencies’

Azerbaijan has blocked Russia’s RIA Novosti after the news agency published content supporting “separatist tendencies,” the country’s ministry of Digital Development and Transport said on Saturday.

Access for the RIA Novosti agency was blocked due to the publication of “separatist tendencies” against Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity, the ministry said in a statement.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan also released a statement saying that the media coverage by the agency does not match the spirit of friendly relations between Azerbaijan and Russia.

The move came after the news agency published an interview with Artak Beglaryan, one of the separatist leaders in Karabakh, using the term “Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh” and calling Artak Beglaryan “Minister of State”.

In 1991, the Armenian army occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, an area internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan, and seven neighboring regions. When new clashes broke out on September 27, 2020, the Armenian army launched attacks on civilians and Azerbaijani troops, violating several humanitarian ceasefire agreements after clashes broke out.

During the 44-day conflict, Azerbaijan liberated several cities and nearly 300 settlements and villages. On November 10, 2020, the two countries signed a Russia-brokered agreement to end the fighting and work towards a comprehensive solution.

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