BAKU (News.az)–Azerbaijan’s embassy in Moscow has called on the Russian Foreign Ministry to investigate a cooperation agreement between a university in southern Russia and one in the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, a spokesman for Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry was quoted by the Azeri Press Agency as saying Tuesday.
According to Russian media reports, the two universities are the Humanitarian and Social Sciences Institute at the Southern Federal University and the Mesrop Mashtots University in the Karabakh capital of Stepanakert.
Azerbaijan does not recognize the independence of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and considers it a separatist government on “occupied” Azeri territory. “Any action in the territories of Azerbaijan, occupied by Armenians, without Azerbaijan’s permission is considered illegal,” spokesman Elkhan Polukhov told the APA.
The Dean of the south Russian university, Yuriy Volkov, played down the cooperation agreement, saying that it had been signed during an international conference in Rostov.
“We invited Baku State University and Tbilisi University to the conference. Two people came from Stepanakert. They learned our education program and asked us for text books and we agreed to exchange them,” he explained. “This is not political. An education center cannot be involved in politics.”
“Professors asked us for text books and we agreed to send them. That’s all there is to the document we signed,” he said, adding that the agreement did not require approval from the Russian Ministry of Education and Science.