Azerbaijan’s presidential adviser said Wednesday that The New York Times is curbing alternative views, amid reports by media outlets on an alleged “blockade” on the country’s Karabakh region.
“Instead of being a fair platform for all voices, I do regret that NYT is putting firewalls and bureaucratic barriers to alternative views,” Hikmet Hajiyev said on X, along with the screenshot of an open letter addressing the daily’s editor.
Hajiyev said that there is an information monopoly made up of “some western media outlets,” which he said are engaged in “Soviet style propaganda” against Azerbaijan.
He went on to say that X provides “a more powerful free and open platform” compared to these outlets, adding that, upon reading the articles, they give the impression that they were written “in the same government studio or PR company financed by the Armenian lobby and government.”
In his open letter, Hajiyev refers to an opinion piece published by the top daily on Saturday, reiterating Baku’s call for the opening of additional routes into Karabakh.
He said Karabakh was a “grey zone” during Armenia’s occupation of the region, adding: “Such a grey zone would not be tolerable to Armenia if it was in their country. So why should it be acceptable to Azerbaijan when it is in ours?”
Despite ongoing talks over a long-term peace agreement, tensions between Azerbaijan and Armenia rose in recent months over the Lachin road, the only land route giving Armenia access to the Karabakh region, where Azerbaijan established a border checkpoint in April on the grounds of preventing the illegal transport of military arms and equipment to the region.
Since then, Yerevan has accused Azerbaijan of “blockading” the region and causing a “humanitarian crisis.” Baku has vehemently denied Armenia’s claims and has proposed the use of the Aghdam-Khankendi road for shipments to the region.
In the fall of 2020, Azerbaijan liberated several cities, villages, and settlements from Armenian occupation during 44 days of clashes. The war ended with a Russia-brokered peace agreement.