The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry was commenting on the first meeting of the Russian-Armenian Lazarev Club held in Yerevan.
Reportedly, the Armenian and Russian media outlets covered the first meeting of the Russian-Armenian "Lazarev Club" held on November 30 - December 1, 2018 in Yerevan.
"One of the main initiators and organizers of this club, positioning himself as a new format of public diplomacy, is Konstantin Zatulin, who in the current, seventh convocation of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, is the first deputy chairman of the Committee on CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration and Relations with Compatriots,” the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said.
“The organizers’ invitation of representatives of the illegal regime created in the Azerbaijani territories occupied by Armenia, as well as statements of Zatulin, former chairman of the Council of Veterans of the Russian Foreign Ministry, having the rank of extraordinary and plenipotentiary ambassador Vladimir Kazimirov and Deputy Director of the Institute of CIS Countries headed by Zatulin, Vladimir Yevseyev, and some others voiced during the meeting of the club and containing open attacks against Azerbaijan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are aimed at damaging the existing high level of cooperation between Azerbaijan and Russia,” the ministry said.
“Moreover, Zatulin’s statements are not in line with his status as the first deputy chairman of the committee of the State Duma, contradicting the interests of development of cooperation within the CIS," the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said.
Yevseyev’s statements are delusional and damage the cooperation within the CIS.
“Finally, the Lazarev Club meeting contradicts the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries, including Russia, to advance the negotiation process on resolving the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict,” the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said.
“The Azerbaijani side, through the embassy in the Russian Federation, expressed its concern about this fact to the Russian Foreign Ministry,” the ministry added.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.