Caucasus Reality 22 may — 20:15

Urgent: Germany banned activities of 'NKR representation' (Editorial)

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EDITORIAL

It is well known that one of the pillars of the occupation policy of Armenia against our country and its justification in the international arena was the creation of the puppet 'Karabakh regime' in the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. Within the framework of this policy, the Armenian side creates and finances 'diplomatic missions' of the separatists in various countries of the world, which play the role of lobbying platforms for legitimising the occupation regime.

However, it seems that the West and, in particular, the EU countries have begun to more sensitively listen to the demands of the Azerbaijani side regarding the termination of activities of this kind of 'representative offices.'

Merkel and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas

Since the outbreak of the Karabakh conflict, the economic and political heavyweight of Europe - Germany - has regularly expressed its clear position on the 'NKR' ('Nagorno-Karabakh republic') and the occupation of Azerbaijani lands. However, despite this, in the country, albeit illegally, a separatist 'representation' functioned, headed by a certain Harutyun Grigoryan. The list of his tasks included lobbying for the idea of 'independence of Nagorno-Karabakh,' organising tourist and study visits of German citizens, including politicians, to the occupied territories of Azerbaijan. This happened, naturally, bypassing the norms and laws of international law. Moreover, the Karabakh 'representative' informed his 'clients' in Germany about the mechanisms of illegal visits to Nagorno-Karabakh. At the same time, the 'representative office' itself was formed as a non-governmental organisation 'European Centre for Arzakh Studies,' in fact parasitising German liberal legislation on the functioning of non-governmental organisations.

Naturally, the Azerbaijani side had well-founded questions regarding the extent to which, in terms of German law, the activity of such a 'representative office' in Germany was permissible, not to mention its contradiction to the friendly relations between Baku and Berlin. Does the German Foreign Ministry recognise the illegal 'diplomatic' activities of Grigoryan, and, if so, on what legal basis? Otherwise, why isn't the Karabakh separatist held accountable for his illegal activities?

Finally, on 20 May, after repeated insistent requests from the Azerbaijani side, the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the thoroughness characteristic of this country, gave a comprehensive and detailed answer.

At the very beginning of its letter, the German Foreign Ministry clearly indicates its initial position, on which all further legal assessment of the activities of the 'representative office' of the separatists is based:

Harutyun Grigoryan

'As is known, the Federal Republic of Germany does not recognise the so-called 'Republic of Artsakh.' Accordingly, there are neither accredited diplomatic or consular representatives, nor a recognised representation of this entity.'

Further, the German Foreign Ministry proceeds directly to the issue of the functioning of the 'representative office':

'According to Paragraph 132 of the German Criminal Code, the use of titles, or foreign official or service ranks, including names that may be confused with those, is criminally punishable. This also includes the ranks by which the person using them creates the appearance of being an official of a non-existent state.'

After that, the German diplomatic agency drives the last nail into the coffin of the 'representation of Artsakh' in Germany:

'In this connection, the German Foreign Ministry in writing demanded from Mr Grigoryan to stop immediately creating any appearance of the international legal subjectivity of Nagorno-Karabakh and the related diplomatic or consular representation. It was brought to the attention that in case of non-compliance with the requirement, legal measures will be taken.' Note that, in case of failure to comply with the requirements of the German state, Grigoryan faces up to a year in prison.

Needless to say, this unequivocal and harsh reaction of the German state caused a real panic in the 'NKR representative office' consisting of one and a half people and supervised by the Armenian Embassy in Germany. On the same day, the separatists deactivated the accounts of the 'representation' on the social networks Facebook and Twitter.

Separatists in a hurry removed their home-made site

The propaganda site 'arzach.de' controlled by 'Karabakh pseudo-diplomats' was also closed, with the help of which the separatists tried to 'stimulate tourism' from Germany to the occupied Azerbaijani territories. Harutyun Grigoryan himself hastily deleted his allegedly 'official' Facebook page: if for several days under the login 'Harut HG' this false 'Karabakh diplomat' flaunted, reasoning in broken German about the independence and subjectivity of 'artsakh,' today such 'user was not found.' Finally, the office of the 'representation,' which operated in Berlin under the guise of the NGO European Centre for Arzakh Studies, was also closed.

It is symbolic that the leading European power, threatening criminal prosecution, pointed to the fake Karabakh 'diplomat' Grigoryan his place exactly at the moment when his so-called 'president' took the 'oath' in the occupied territories. This decision of Germany, whose position in foreign policy is a clear guide for many other EU countries, is an important precedent and a clear signal in support of the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. There is no doubt that after success in Germany, the Azerbaijani side will systematically 'finish off' separatist missions around the world, until the last 'representative office' of the Karabakh separatists abroad is closed.

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