BAKU — The Azerbaijan Foreign Ministry has blacklisted Russian opera singer Lyubov Kazarnovskaya because of her recent visit to Karabakh, Baku authorities said.
“She is “unwelcome” because her visit violated Azerbaijan’s border law and “promoted Armenia’s aggression and occupation against Azerbaijan,” including its “bloody ethnic cleansing” of Azerbaijanis”, said ministry spokesman Hikmet Hadjiyev.
Kazarnovskaya said it was a stupid decision.
“I went to Nagorno-Karabakh on a cultural mission,” she said. “The people in Nagorno-Karabakh do not want any war. They want peace. They want to give birth to children and hear the sounds of music. You cannot imagine how much love and joy we have received.”
Kazarnovskaya said she is happy to keep company with Montserrat Caballe, who was also blacklisted.
“The human spirit is beyond any politics or aggression. Music is something that the Lord bestowed on us,” she said.
Kazarnovskaya attended the festival along with many of her students.
Kazarnovskaya is the latest inclusion in the Azeri “blacklist” of more than 300 prominent individuals who have paid “unauthorized” trips to Nagorno-Karabakh. It is often referred to as the Montserrat Caballe list. Azerbaijan declared the Spanish opera diva a persona non grata over her trip to Karabakh in 2013.