Azerbaijan has blacklisted two Ukrainian journalists for allegedly “distorting the realities of the Karabakh conflict” after their film about the region was shown on Ukrainian television earlier this month.

The Azerbaijani Embassy in Ukraine has expressed protest to Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry for screening the film on Ukraine’s 1+1 TV channel, the Azerbaijani Embassy told Trend.

Baku has slammed the Channel for “distorting” the reality about Azerbaijan’s socio-political situation and the Nagorno Karabakh conflict and expressing sympathy for Armenia.

The Embassy has already sent a letter of protest to the TV channel’s management and said the authors of the TV program, reporters Konstantin Andryuk and Dmitry Volkov have been included in the list of “persona non grata” of Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry for their “illegal” visit to Azerbaijani territories occupied by Armenia.

Azerbaijani embassy added that this TV program causes serious damage to the friendly and strategic relations between the two countries and urged Ukrainian Foreign Ministry to take corresponding measures against the TV channel and its reporters that have “insulted and committed slander against Azerbaijan and its citizens.”

The series of programs entitled “15 Republics” (of the former USSR) in which a pair of journalists visits post-Soviet countries to try to get first-hand experience of their current life. The first program aired as part of the series was dedicated (apparently alphabetically) to the two South Caucasus republics.

The authors of the program visited the two republics as well as Nagorno-Karabakh. In the part about Azerbaijan they do not conceal their irony about the cult of Azerbaijan’s late President Heydar Aliyev, while when presenting Armenia they mostly speak about its cultural and historical heritage, technological achievements, even though also showing some decrepit Soviet-era constructions in provincial towns and also the square in Spitak bearing the name of Ukraine’s deposed leader Viktor Yanukovych.

Regarding Karabakh, the authors of the program make a reference to the treaty that was signed at the beginning of the 20th century between the Soviet Union and Turkey as the reason for the inclusion of the region into Azerbaijan. “Because the territory of Azerbaijan had already been captured by the Bolsheviks and Armenia was still resisting, it was decided to incorporate Karabakh into Azerbaijan in order to declare it Soviet territory as soon as possible. But during the disintegration of the Soviet Union the issue of the disputed territory again came to surface,” the authors of the program say.

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