Your inclusion of Nagorno-Karabakh in an article on “the best new adventures for 2015” (Totally out there, Travel, 10 January) is disrespectful to the people of Azerbaijan. Nagorno-Karabakh is an internationally recognised part of Azerbaijan currently under the occupation of Armenian armed forces. Do you think it is morally right to encourage an aggressor to maintain control over a portion of a territory of another country and show total neglect of the sufferings of hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people?
Sadly, your piece plays into the hands of the separatist regime, which strives to legitimise its act of occupation. The Guardian’s stance against recent separatist tendencies in the post-Soviet space is commendable, and one would wish the same sensitivity shown to Azerbaijan.
The Foreign Office warns against any travel to Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding occupied regions of Azerbaijan. By promoting Nagorno-Karabakh as a so-called tourist “destination” you mislead the public and potentially put their lives at risk; also, those taking unauthorised trips will be unable to travel to the rest of Azerbaijan in future.Tahir TaghizadehAmbassador of Azerbaijan in London
• It’s one thing to accuse Putin of forcibly changing borders, quite another to overlook what Nato did in Kosovo (This trauma could lead to a European reawakening, 14 January). The break-up of multinational entities is usually messy. Algeria springs to mind. Also, wasn’t Northern Ireland less a land grab by London and more an instance of a young Irish state not commanding the allegiance of the protestant north? The same sort of thing could be said of the Ukraine conflict.
Other examples abound from the break-up of the USSR. The Slavs of Transnistria don’t feel any affinity with the Romanian-speaking Moldovan authorities, and they furthermore fear that Romania will eventually absorb Moldova. Nor do the Armenians of the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave wish a return to rule by Azerbaijan. Then there are the Abkhazians and South Ossetians of Georgia who distrust Tbilisi rule.
To treat these conflicts as instances of Russian ultranationalism is unhelpful. Must the federalists stoop so low as to picture Russia as the indispensable common enemy that will unite Europe?Yugo KovachWinterborne Houghton, Dorset