MOSCOW—The Russian Foreign Ministry has sent a note to the Azerbaijani Embassy in Moscow over instances of discrimination against and ill treatment of Russian citizens based on their ethnicity, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.
The note follows verbal warnings presented by the Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova, who as recently as Friday warned Baku to halt its discriminatory practices against Russian citizens, especially of Armenia origin, at its border and will not ban their entry into Azerbaijan.
A diplomatic sourced confirmed to RIA Novosti of the note to the Azerbaijani Embassy.
“During the last year we have been informed about at least 16 cases where Russian citizens were banned entry into Azerbaijan due to their ethnicity. Those citizens were forced to wait and later sent back to Russia without any explanation,” Zakharova told reporters on Friday.
The spokesperson added that deportation of Russian citizens from Azerbaijan due to their ethnic background was a gross violation of the rights of those individuals. “I have seen many reports about this, including in social media,” said Zakharova.
“A similar incident was also registered during the holidays, but we have also seen similar cases in the past. We have regularly raised this issue with the Azerbaijani leadership, and we have said that unfortunately such cases become a commonplace.”
She added that the Russian authorities have urged Azerbaijan several times to stop this behavior since it’s not acceptable from the viewpoint of Russian-Azerbaijani relations.