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Foreign bloggers to visit Karabakh despite Lapshin's case: Armenia FM

Foreign bloggers to visit Karabakh despite Lapshin's case: Armenia FM

PanARMENIAN.Net - Bloggers from 10 countries will arrive in Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) on Thursday, September 14 to participate in and cover the wine festival, Armenian foreign minister Edward Nalbandian told lawmakers on Wednesday.

In a Q&A session at the parliament, Nalbandian weighed in on the release of Russian-Israeli blogger Alexander Lapshin who was handed a three-year prison term in Azerbaijan for visiting Karabakh.

Nalbandian reminded that Lapshin's arrest in Belarus and his extradition to Azerbaijan shortly afterwards did not prevent a group of bloggers from visiting Artsakh.

Moreover, he said, another group of bloggers from 10 countries will arrive in Karabakh to cover the wine fest.

"Some of them are going to prepare video materials about Artsakh's attractiveness from a tourist perspective which will further boost the development of the sector," Nalbandian said.

"Azerbaijan makes a lot of effort, compiles 'blacklists' and staff, but the fact is that the number of lawmakers, political and cultural figures keeps growing."

Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev on Monday signed a decree to pardon Lapshin whowas sentenced by the Baku court on grave crimes on July 20, 2017 over his visit to Karabakh.

The blogger was detained in the Belarusian capital of Minsk in December 2016 at Baku’s request. He was flown to Baku on February 7 and handed over to the Azerbaijani State Security Service. Azerbaijan’s prosecutors opened criminal cases against him envisaging jail terms of between five and eight years.

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