Meydan TV’s 2022 Recap: Azerbaijan’s land borders remain closed

This article is part of the year recap series, where we publish news that defined the news cycle in Azerbaijan during 2022. The video was originally published on 12 August and the protest mentioned took place on 20 July. The country’s land borders remain closed at the end of 2022.

Land borders have been closed in Azerbaijan since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Citizens who need to go abroad must buy an airline ticket from one of the few companies that operate in the country, such as the state-owned Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL) and its low-cost subsidiary Buta Airways.

Moreover, Azerbaijani airports are owned and operated by the government. Because of that, civil aviation in the country has monopoly features and very high ticket prices. This policy affects especially low-income families that had road trips as an alternative to airplanes. President Ilham Aliyev, however, claimed at press conference the closing of the land borders is a necessary step to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

In August, we produced this video. A month before, a protest took place on 20 July in front of the Cabinet of Ministers building in Baku, demanding the opening of land borders.

Musavat Party members protest the closed land borders on 20 July 2022 in Baku. Photo: Meydan TV.

Activists who took part in the rally chanted the slogans “Close the borders, do not keep the people captive” and called for broad resignations. In total, more than 40 protestors were detained. They were released after being taken to different police stations.

Land borders have closed in Azerbaijan since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Citizens who need to go abroad must buy an airline ticket from one of the few companies that operate in the country, such as the state-owned Azerbaijan Airlines (AZAL) and its low-cost subsidiary Buta Airways. Moreover, Azerbaijani airports are owned and operated by the government. Because of that, civil aviation in the country has monopoly features and very high ticket prices. This policy affects especially low-income families that had road trips as an alternative to airplanes. President Ilham Aliyev, however, claimed at press conference the closing of the land borders is a necessary step to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Ana səhifəVideoMeydan TV’s 2022 Recap: Azerbaijan’s land borders remain closed