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Russia ‘to open consulate general’ in Stepanakert

28 May 2024
Stepanakert. Photo: OC Media.

Russian Senator and the Russian Council’s Foreign Affairs chief Grigoriy Karasin has suggested that Moscow will open a consulate general in Stepanakert (Khankendi) this year.

Russian state news agency TASS reported that Karasin made the suggestion in a meeting with Samad Seyidov, the chair of the Azerbaijani Parliament’s International and Interparliamentary Relations on Monday.

‘We plan to begin preparatory work for this in the near future and count on your support’, said Karasin. ‘This will allow us to eliminate the disparity in mutual consular presence’.

OC Media has reached out to Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry for comment.

Rauf Mirkadirov, a political analyst, dismissed Karasin’s statements as ‘absurd’, telling OC Media that there are no Russians residing in Stepanakert.

‘A consulate should serve citizens who live far from the capital and make it easier for them to navigate a visa requirement, but Azerbaijan and Russia have a visa-free regime’, he said. ‘At the same, no Russians live in this city, and I don’t think thousands of Russian citizens will in the future’.

Mirkadirov suggested that Azerbaijan and Russia might have ‘secret agreements’ to establish a Russian presence in Nagorno-Karabakh alongside Turkey.


Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan first suggested opening a Turkish consulate in Shusha (Shushi) in 2021, after the city came under Azerbaijani control during the Second Nagorno-Karabakh War. 

‘Türkiye, plans to open a consulate in the ancient city of Shusha as soon as possible. By doing so, we will ensure faster and more efficient implementation of our activities in the region’, Erdoğan said at the time.

Stepanakert remains deserted after Nagorno-Karabakh’s Armenian population fled to seek refuge in Armenia following the region’s surrender to Azerbaijan in September 2023.

Earlier in May, Turkey’s Ambassador to Baku, Cahit Bağcı, told Azerbaijani media that the Stepanakert ‘must be ready’ before Turkey would open a consulate.

This article was amended on 29 May to reflect the fact that Russian officials had announced the country’s intention to open a consulate general, not a consulate. Mirkadirov's quote was corrected on 5 June; Russia and Azerbaijan have a visa-free regime. 

 For ease of reading, we choose not to use qualifiers such as ‘de facto’, ‘unrecognised’, or ‘partially recognised’ when discussing institutions or political positions within Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, and South Ossetia. This does not imply a position on their status.

Read in Georgian on On.ge.
Read in Russian on Jnews.
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