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Azerbaijan's "Black List" Is the Most Radical One

On these days the the practice of having "black lists" is widely used in international relations, as a precautionary measure to avoid any actions which are considered undesirable for a certain state.

Almost all states have black lists, where physical or legal persons whose activities are thought to be a threat for that state’s national security are included. For ordinary people the most relevant black lists are those that are used against unrecognized states. It is just enough to visit that state and you will be included in that list. However, it is noteworthy that this practice is not used in European countries and the communication between the two parts of the island of Cyprus, also between Serbia and Kosovo is open.

Instead, black lists are being widely used in the post-Soviet area. If you visited Abkhazia or South Ossetia from Russia, you cannot visit Georgia anymore. Those people, who have stamp on their passport about crossing the Russian-Abkhazian or South Ossetian border and then try to visit Georgia are subjected to be fined for the first time. A second such try will cost 5 years of imprisonment.

This practice has also been widely used in the recent years in Ukraine. Without prior agreement with the Ukrainian authorities, if one visits Crimea, will lose the right to visit Ukraine. In this regard, the most liberal of the former Soviet countries is Moldova. This country does not create any obstacles for the visit of foreigners to the former part of its territory - the unrecognized Transnistrian Republic and Gagauzia. However, if you publicly express political views on the conflict in favor of the unrecognized republic, you can be declared persona non grata in Moldova for several years.

The most famous black list against the unrecognized republics is Azerbaijan's black list. There are foreigners, mostly well-known public personalities who, without prior consent from Baku, visited the Nagorno Karabakh Republic. People from this list can forget about visiting Azerbaijan until they apologize for this "mistake." The black list of Azerbaijan, as the Lapshin case shows, is the most radical. In international practice we can’t see any cases, where a foreigner is declared internationally wanted for visiting the unrecognized state and extradited.


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