Israeli Travel Blogger to Be Extradited to Azerbaijan from Belarus

An agreement has been reached between the governments of Belarus and Azerbaijan to have Israeli - Russian blogger, Alexander Lapshin, extradited to Baku.

Upon his arrival in Baku, he will be immediately deported back to Israel, his girlfriend Ekaterina told izRus on January 6.

Detained in Minsk on Decemer 15 at the behest of the Azerbaijani government, Lapshin has been accused by the Prosecutor General’s Office of Azerbaijan of illegally crossing onto the territory of Nagorno - Karabakh, Azerbaijan’s breakaway region currently controlled by Armenian forces. Baku has also objected to Lapshin’s call for the recognition of the independence of Nagorno - Karabakh, additionally charging him with “anti - state appeals.”

Lapshin’s arrest followed immediately in the wake of an official state visit to Azerbaiajn by Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who visited the country in early December in an attempt to shore - up relations with several Muslim countries of the former Soviet Union. A $5 billion arms agreement was concluded for the purchase of $5 billion in Israeli drones and radar systems during the December 13 - 14 visit. 

In 2015, around 16,500 foreigns visited Nagorno - Karabakh. While some of these figures, particularly diplomats and journalists, have been placed on Azerbaijan's black - list of personae non gratae, Baku has rarely in the past sought the extradition of a foreign citizen to face charges of “violating the state border of Azerbaijan”, as read Lapshin’s arrest warrant.

Lapshin’s travel blog is one of the most popular and widely - read travel blogs available in Russian.

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