Blacklisted: Russian opera star banned in Azerbaijan over Karabakh trip

Blacklisted: Russian opera star banned in Azerbaijan over Karabakh trip –

Armenianow – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan has black-listed prominent Russian opera singer Lyubov Kazarnovskaya because of her recent visit to Nagorno-Karabakh, a de-facto independent region that Baku still considers to be Azerbaijani territory. 

According to Azerbaijani media, Ministry spokesman Hikmet Hadjiyev said Kazarnovksya, 58, was “unwelcome” because her trip violated Azerbaijan’s border law and “promoted Armenia’s aggression and occupation against Azerbaijan.”

The operatic soprano retorted by calling it a “stupid decision”. 

“I went to Nagorno-Karabakh on a cultural mission,” she said, as quoted by media. “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 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. 

The Russian singer, meanwhile, said that she is happy to keep company with Caballe. “The human spirit is beyond any politics or aggression. Music is something that the Lord bestowed on us,” she said.

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