Maria Zakharova denies Konstantin Zatulin's right to speak in Karabakh on Russia's behalf
Russian politicians and lawmakers do not have the authority to express Russia's official position on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, this is an exclusive prerogative of the foreign policy executive authorities, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said, answering a question from the corespondent of Vestnik Kavkaza about State Duma deputy Konstantin Zatulin's visit to the occupied Azerbaijani territories and his statements that contradict Russia's position on the Nagorno-Karabakh settlement.
"As for Russian politicians, in particular, representatives of the legislative branch, or people representing civil society who make statements on this topic, we proceed from the fact that they reflect their private views (it can be an expert point of view or political statement)," she noted in the first place.
"One way or another, the official position on this issue is expressed by relevant institutions of the executive branch. Foreign policy is the prerogative of the Presidential Administration, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other departments that are authorized to make statements reflecting the position of the whole state," Maria Zakharova stressed.
The Russian Foreign Ministry's spokesperson confirmed that the ministry received Azerbaijan's note on Zatulin’s visit to Karabakh and once again reminded of responsibility for visiting the occupied Azerbaijani territories.
"Unfortunately, few of those wishing to visit the relevant region pay attention that our site has a valid, current warning: those who travel to the territory of the former Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast and seven adjacent Azerbaijani districts without permission of the government of Azerbaijan will be denied entry to Azerbaijan. This is relevant information, it applies to everyone and is a reflection of the position of the Azerbaijani authorities on this issue," she pointed out.
"The position of the Foreign Ministry on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and on the issue of its settlement is well known, it remains unchanged. Regarding the final status of Nagorno-Karabakh, all assessments, all statements made by the Russian side before, are relevant. The status should be determined through political negotiations in the framework of the Minsk process," Maria Zakharova added.