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Diplomat: Azerbaijan Supports Sovereignty, Territorial Integrity in Resolving Russia-Ukraine Conflict

By Nigar Bayramli February 23, 2023

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February 24, 2023 marks the first anniversary of Russia's unprovoked war in Ukraine / Max Butterworth / NBC News

Permanent Representative of Azerbaijan to the United Nations (UN), Yashar Aliyev, spoke Wednesday at the 11th extraordinary special session of the General Assembly dedicated to discussions over the ongoing war in Ukraine and its outcomes.

The diplomat voiced Azerbaijani government’s official stance on the conflict saying the norms and principles of international law governing interstate relations should make grounds for resolving it.

“The crisis should be resolved within the norms and principles of international law, including respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, and the inviolability of borders,” Yashar Aliyev said.

He further said that, along with other Member States of the UN, Azerbaijan is deeply concerned about what is happening in Ukraine, adding that Azerbaijan has been providing humanitarian assistance to the Ukrainian people suffering from the consequences of the ongoing deadly war.

The conflict between Ukraine and Russia sparked in 2014 when Russia annexed the Crimea peninsula of its western neighbor and supported the anti-government separatist forces in southeastern Ukraine. Separatist forces in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions broke away from Ukrainian government control in 2014 and proclaimed themselves independent “people’s republics.” The Kremlin has been repeatedly accused of supporting the separatist regimes in these territories with weapons and troops. On February 22, 2022, President Putin signed decrees recognizing Donetsk and Lugansk as independent entities.

On February 24, 2022, Russia launched an all-out offensive in Ukraine, claiming that the “military operation” in Ukraine was aimed to protect the people of the separatist-controlled Donetsk and Lugansk. Currently, the Russian military is seeking new territorial gains to consolidate the annexation of Crimea and four other regions of Ukraine.

Azerbaijan was one of the dozens of countries to respond to the war and its outcomes. The country sent the first batch of humanitarian aid to Ukraine on February 27, 2022, a few days after the Russian invasion started. The aid packages destined for Ukraine contained medicines, medical consumables, equipment, food, grocery products, and baby care products. The overall amount of humanitarian aid provided by Azerbaijan to Ukraine has already reached $17.6 million.

The Azerbaijani government also instructed the state-owned oil company SOCAR to supply the ambulances and vehicles of the State Emergency Service with fuel free of charge in its gasoline stations in Ukraine.

In addition, about 90 Ukrainian children who suffered from the war and lost their family members were brought to Azerbaijan for medical and social-psychological rehabilitation. Azerbaijan sponsored the restoration of a secondary school in Ukraine’s Irpin town, which was at the epicenter of a fierce Russian assault in March. The school in Irpin opened its door on September 1 after SOCAR Energy Ukraine, through which Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR operates in Ukraine, completed its restoration.

Recently, the government of Azerbaijan has sent the batches of power supply equipment to Ukraine to help the war-torn country restore the energy supply infrastructure that has been suffering from Russia’s bombardment. The aid package included 45 power transformers and 50 generators.