Azerbaijani Diaspora in Russia sent a statement to Speaker of the Russian Parliament Sergey Naryshkin signed by 30 regional diaspora organizations, as well as one member of the Interethnic Relations Council within the office of the Russian President, reports Musavat.

The statement, released in response to a bill submitted to the Russian Parliament several days ago whereby denial of the Armenian genocide is to be considered a criminal offence, contains, among other things, an ultimatum-like demand to deny the Armenian genocide.

“We and our like-minded supporters will continue publically denying the so-called ‘Armenian genocide’ even if an amendment like this is approved. We are also prepared to appeal the amendment in international human rights courts,” reads the document.

According to some of political pundits, releasing the statement is a show of strength on the part of Ilkham Aliev. After the downing of a Russian SU-24 fighter jet over the Turkish-Syrian border Aliev said that ‘Azerbaijan will always be by Turkey’s side’.

“In the layman’s language it means that he will be opposed to Russia. There is also a chance Aliev decided to show he has powerful supporters within Russia by pointing out his main strength, i.e. who he is going to rely on if the situation in the region deteriorates,” the observers say.